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Basque Nationhood

Towards a Democratic Scenario


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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Eduardo J. Ruiz-Vieytez – 7 Basque Sovereigntism and New Diversities in the Post-Violence Scenario



7Basque Sovereigntism and New Diversities in the Post-Violence Scenario

The most significant change in the recent history of the Basque country is probably the end of the cycle of political violence. A new opportunity for debating the political status of the country has emerged in this context, and new opportunities have also arisen for Basque nationalist movements. At the same time, a number of profound social transformations have taken place in the Basque country over the past few decades, particularly concerning demography and cultural lifestyles. The last two decades have seen a constant influx of immigrants to the Basque country, which has dramatically increased the diversity of Basque society. This in turn has also prompted an evolution towards a postmodern society, incorporating new methods of communication and social relations. Thus, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity is significantly greater than a decade ago, when the previous proposal for a significant change in the political status was forwarded. The difference is even more striking if we compare the situation today with what it was in 1979, when the Statute of Autonomy was adopted. It is obvious that immigration and new diversities transform the social landscape, posing new challenges and questions for the future of minority cultures and their sovereignty projects and aspirations (Kymlicka 2001a; Hepburn 2011: 505).

This chapter aims to explore whether or not Basque nationalist movements have incorporated the new diversities into the nation-building process or their updated ideas...

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