Six steps and conditions commonly shared by successful breakaway nation-states, as summarized from a new article in The Economist:
1. Assemble critical mass in a geographically compact/defined area.
2. Maintain a legitimate, ongoing claim to the area. Keep the separate culture alive to preserve legitimacy.
3. Take every opportunity to draw a border, even before independence or autonomy, and stick to it. This creates precedent.
4. Suffering is righteous. That which does not kill you makes you stronger. If you’re destroyed, that’s it. But if you hang on through violent oppression, you have an even better claim and motivation to achieve independence.
5. Use your diaspora. That one is tried and true. If your people are scattered by violence, leverage them (and their likely higher earning potential in places like the U.S.) to raise sympathy, funds, and foreign support for independence. They will be more hardline and inflexible than the people back home, which can be useful.
6. Wait for the super-state to begin breaking up before trying to exit the sub-state.