Presenter Information

Daisy WardFollow

Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Abhishek Chatterjee

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Political Science

Abstract

Recent referenda for independence in the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain have brought the issue of Catalan independence to international attention. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 established Catalonia as an autonomous community within Spain, but the movement for an independent Catalonia has been increasing in strength and influence since 2005. Movements for increased autonomy in the region have existed for hundreds of years, but the demand for secession is a more recent development. This project examines research on nationalism and secessionist movements and analyzes potential explanations as they apply to Catalonia. These explanations include differing economic needs between a state and a region seeking secession and the influence of social crises on this relationship. An examination of the Catalan case indicates additional factors affecting the demand for secession. These include class divisions in Catalonia and changing alliances between Catalan and Spanish elites, immigration to Catalonia, and the influence of the European Union on the prospects of a potentially independent Catalonia. Analysis of these additional factors in the case of Catalonia helps to explain variance in demand for secession across other substate nationalist movements in Europe.

Category

Social Sciences

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Explaining Variance in Demand for Secession in Catalonia

Recent referenda for independence in the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain have brought the issue of Catalan independence to international attention. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 established Catalonia as an autonomous community within Spain, but the movement for an independent Catalonia has been increasing in strength and influence since 2005. Movements for increased autonomy in the region have existed for hundreds of years, but the demand for secession is a more recent development. This project examines research on nationalism and secessionist movements and analyzes potential explanations as they apply to Catalonia. These explanations include differing economic needs between a state and a region seeking secession and the influence of social crises on this relationship. An examination of the Catalan case indicates additional factors affecting the demand for secession. These include class divisions in Catalonia and changing alliances between Catalan and Spanish elites, immigration to Catalonia, and the influence of the European Union on the prospects of a potentially independent Catalonia. Analysis of these additional factors in the case of Catalonia helps to explain variance in demand for secession across other substate nationalist movements in Europe.