Old argument of mine: globalization comes in and all manner of divorces ensue. Typically it's a fake state in the Gap that's coming apart at the artificial seams, but the larger point is, the more overarching multinationalism you have, the lower the cost of divorce/remapping. You're going to be together anyway (you still have the "kids" of the union), but why stay together if you don't have to?
Europe demonstrates this: the more integrated it becomes, the more states appear.
Great FT one-pager on "long-simmering separatist movements . . . gaining strength." You might think it's the Eurozone troubles that is responsible, but that's the proximate opportunity - not the ultimate enabler. Real federalism is coming, so why not get out of your unhappy marriage in the bargain?
Here's the counterintuitive part: it's often the most competent and richest that want out. The better want to leave behind the worse.
So this isn't about suffering. This is about ambition.