Spain

Privatizing Basque Federalism

Privatizing Basque Federalism

Abstract

In an era of global privatization, it is critical to know why and how certain territories disappear and others are transformed and why and how certain territorial assemblages and specific territorialities are more consequential than others with regard to collective welfare and democratization. Democratization is determined, among other things, by particular and local institutional and political workings that concretize the meaning of those key categories such as “nation”, “federation”, “re-distribution”, “equality”, “autonomy”, which articulate not only nationalist, but also democratic practices and discourses. Thus, both the demand for self-determination or for higher self-government in the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC) arises once and again not because BAC is a distinct nationality or ethnicity in the non-political sense of a pre-given cultural unit, but because it is a federal political territory which, due to its political and institutional structures, functioning and contestation, has shaped and most effectively met the needs of its population, managing to uphold the claim to the monopoly of authoritative law-making more successfully than the Spanish state itself.

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Posted by Jule Goikoetxea in Case Studies, 0 comments
Nation-building in a Multinational State: Between Majority and Minority Aspirations

Nation-building in a Multinational State: Between Majority and Minority Aspirations

Abstract

Given the existence of distinct communities with different and often contradictory aspirations, multinational states are used to witnessing some rivalry between the majority and the minority groups. This contribution explores the nation-building dynamics in this context, with a particular focus on the majority group’s rhetoric. In this regard, the dominant nationalism identifies the status quo and the official symbols of the state as neutral, therefore accusing the nation-building efforts of the minority as partisan and divisive. Nevertheless, we know that both are trying to “nationalise” its citizens and gain support for their own nationalist cause. Drawing on the case of Spain to illustrate these remarks, I argue that the acknowledgement of this reality is the first step to settle a constitutional framework where both nationalisms can flourish and coexist.

 

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Posted by Carles Ferreira in Theory, 0 comments
Catalonia and Spain’s Constitutional Crisis: Time for a Federal Solution?

Catalonia and Spain’s Constitutional Crisis: Time for a Federal Solution?

Abstract

This contribution describes how a Catalan bid for more autonomy and for national recognition miscarried in 2010 after long negotiations. In this process, the major part of Catalan nationalism turned towards independence. We follow the different steps that led to the show-down in October 2017, with the failed declaration of independence and the temporary suspension of Catalan autonomy. New elections in Catalonia and in Spain have been of no use to get out of the quandary. While federal solutions if combined with a constitutional recognition of Spain’s plurinational character might be highly advisable to accommodate minority nations like Catalonia and to combine democracy and constitutionalism, fragmented party systems and minority governments on both sides make the necessary constitutional amendments even more improbable than ever.

 

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Posted by Klaus-Jürgen Nagel in Case Studies, Diversity Management, 0 comments
Multiple Territorial Identities and Social Cohesion

Multiple Territorial Identities and Social Cohesion

Abstract

Multiple territorial identities reflect the sedimentation of shared loyalties and political aspirations through the various levels of government. The ‘Moreno question’ was set according to a scale of five categories, which provide data on levels of identity belonging, intensity and sharing in contexts of political duality. After briefly discussing the ‘Moreno question’, this contribution analyses the implications of sub-state identity polarization concerning secession in the case of Catalonia and Spain. It concludes by noting that social cohesion is regarded as a desirable aim to be achieved depending not only on the politics of recognition but also on government institutions as facilitators of social trust.

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Posted by Luis Moreno in Theory, 0 comments
Secession and Federalism: A Chiaroscuro

Secession and Federalism: A Chiaroscuro

Abstract

The relationship between federalism and secession might be regarded as antithetical but is an unavoidable fact in multinational political communities. Integration and disintegration are both possible trends in a federation. Recent political events in Catalonia show the salience of independence claims, a political phenomenon already experienced by other countries such as Scotland or Quebec. Liberal democracies evolve and debates on self-government and self-determination cannot be discussed as they were decades ago. Constitutional right to secede is extremely rare, however we can find good reasons both in constitutional and normative analysis supporting democratic self-determination. Minority nations, as permanent minorities, claim for liberal guarantees to protect them from majorities, but also democratic rights to express their views on their constitutional future. Pacts are the basis of any political agreement and any federal arrangement requires individual and collective compromises to be respected.

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Posted by Marc Sanjaume-Calvet in Diversity Management, 0 comments
Condominiums and Shared Sovereignty

Condominiums and Shared Sovereignty

Abstract

As the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU), the future of Gibraltar, appears to be in peril. Like Northern Ireland, Gibraltar borders with EU territory and strongly relies on its ties with Spain for its economic stability, transports and energy supplies. Although the Gibraltarian government is struggling to preserve both its autonomy with British sovereignty and accession to the European Union, the Spanish government states that only a form of joint-sovereignty would save Gibraltar from the same destiny as the rest of UK in case of complete withdrawal from the EU, without any accession to the European Economic Area (Hard Brexit). The purpose of this paper is to present the concept of Condominium as a federal political system based on joint-sovereignty and, by presenting the existing case of Condominiums (i.e. Andorra). The paper will assess if there are margins for applying a Condominium solution to Gibraltar.

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Posted by Francesco Violi in Theory, 0 comments
The Politics of Ethnically Diverse Cities: Why Should We Care?

The Politics of Ethnically Diverse Cities: Why Should We Care?

Abstract

Ethnic diversity is a quintessentially urban attribute. Because of this, city governments are called to make decisions about the daily management of diversity, often in ways that contradict or even openly challenge state-level agendas. Thus, cities are not to be treated as simply a lower level of government: they are central actors in the multi-level governance of diversity and in the negotiation of inter-ethnic relations. This contribution reviews examples of city-level diversity policies and discusses some of the contradictions of urban multiculturalism. In doing so, it makes an argument for the need to pay more attention to cities in the study of ethnically diverse societies.

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Posted by Licia Cianetti in Diversity Management, 0 comments
Is Spain a Federal Country?

Is Spain a Federal Country?

Abstract

In this contribution we examine the federal characteristics of the Spanish case. Having initiated a process of political decentralisation as an integral pillar of the democratic transition, it is often posited that Spain is a federation, or quasi-federal country. Employing a comparative perspective this article argues that while Spain shares some federal features, many core elements are absent in the Spanish case.

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Posted by Ferran Requejo in Case Studies, 0 comments