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Basque Nationhood

Towards a Democratic Scenario

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Edited By Pedro Ibarra Güell and Åshild Kolås

Debates about Basque self-determination were curtailed for decades by political violence, involving both the actions of ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) and the counter-terrorism activities of Spain and France. In 2011, ETA announced a permanent cessation of operations. Since then, stakeholders have become increasingly aware of the need to rethink Basque nationhood and democratic representation in light of the changing nature of nationhood and citizenship within the European Union. These issues are also topical in the French Basque country, which has witnessed a re-emergence of Basque identity politics in recent years.
This book describes the contemporary re-imagining of Basque nationhood in both Spain and France. Taking a fresh look at the history of Basque nationalist movements, it explores the new debates that have emerged since the demise of non-state militancy. Alongside analysis of local transformations, it also describes the impact of global changes on ideas about Basque self-determination.

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4 Identity, Territoriality and Basque Secessionism: The Issue of Navarre (Asier Blas)

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Asier Blas 4 Identity, Territoriality and Basque Secessionism: The Issue of Navarre In recent years, secessionist projects in Scotland and Catalonia have been strengthened. In the Basque country, however, no consistent plan is in the pipeline. This can be explained by at least four important factors that are obstructing the Basque secessionist project. On the one hand, there are more or less situational factors, represented by the behaviour of political elites and the still-fresh aftermath of the violence carried out by ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna – Basque Homeland and Liberty) in the name of the Basque people. On the other hand, we find two closely related factors of a struc- tural nature, which are preconditions for developing a viable secessionist project. The first of the structural factors has to do with a deep political segmentation, within which we may distinguish three mobilized ‘nation- alist’ groups engaged in a dispute over Basque sovereignty: the Basque nationalists (who claim that the Basque country is a sovereign nation with the right to self-determination), the Basque Spanish nationalists and the Basque French nationalists (who dispute the idea of Basque sovereignty). The second of the structural factors, related to the first, is the problem of territoriality. The Basque country is divided between two states (France and Spain), and the Spanish part is further divided into the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (ACBC, made up of three provinces: Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa) and the Chartered Community of Navarre (CCN). Consequently, one of the main problems of...

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