This comprehensive volume examines fifteen cases across the world where a violent or semi-violent conflict exists between a national minority inhabiting a region in a larger independent country and the government of that country. It studies the reasons for the growth of national separatism and the failure of attempts to reconcile the dissident regions to the national government. The book outlines the urgent need for a new 'quantumised' status of a kind that could satisfy the national minorities without alienating the governments; such an agreement could allow the national minority home rule powers over internal affairs, while leaving the management of foreign affairs and the international profile of the larger country to the central government. Identity Politics breaks new ground and challenges several accepted views of the minimum requirement for the existence of a state. Ideally suited to courses on security studies, conflict resolution and international relations, the book will also prove useful for peacemakers in national governments and international institutions.