Catalan Nationalism: Francoism, Transition, and Democracy

Catalan Nationalism: Francoism, Transition, and Democracy

Catalan Nationalism: Francoism, Transition, and Democracy

Catalan Nationalism: Francoism, Transition, and Democracy

Synopsis

Are the Catalans content with the outcome of the Spanish transition to democracy? Is there a future for Catalan nationalism within the EU? How does globalization impact upon the survival and development of nations without states such as Catalonia? Will increasing numbers of immigrants transform regional identities? Has devolution fostered secessionism in Catalonia? These are some of the key questions discussed in this book. Catalan Nationalism considers whether a nation without a state, such as Catalonia, is able to survive within larger political institutions such as Spain and the European Union. The author examines the different 'images' of Catalonia presented by the main Catalan political parties. The book also provides a study of the role of intellectuals in the construction of nationalism and national identity in nations without states in the global era.The key questions addressed in this book are highly relevant for the study of devolution and its consequences, transitions to democracy and globalization and national identity. Based on a successful combination of theory and innovative empirical research, the scope and depth of the book's analysis will make it essential reading for students and academics in the fields of history and politics.

Excerpt

Is there any future for Catalan nationalism? How does globalization influence the survival and development of small nations without their own sovereign state such as Catalonia? How will the growing numbers of immigrants affect national identities? How will the political integration and the enlargement of the European Union impact upon a country like Catalonia?

These and other questions lead us to reflect on Catalan nationalism during the period which includes Francoism and the transition to democracy. Over this period, Catalonia as a country has been affected by a series of factors that have left an indelible mark on the evolution of its national identity.

The triumph of the insurrectionists in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) represented the almost complete annihilation of the autonomous Catalan institutions (although some continued in exile) and the proscription of the country's language and culture. At state level, Francoism stopped the clock that would have incorporated Spain's destiny into that of the other Western democracies. Francoism put an end to democracy and the party system, and involved the imposition of centralism, the establishment of Castilian culture and language, the promotion of a conservative version of Catholicism and the closing of the borders with Europe.

Different stages can be identified throughout the long years of Francoism; there is a stark contrast between the early situation of the Catalan nationalist movement, almost disintegrated after the defeat of the legitimate government of the Second Republic (1939), and that of later years when the nationalist movement began to re-emerge.

The advent of democracy marked the transition from a clandestine Catalanism of resistance to a Catalanism that demanded greater autonomy within the framework of the Constitution and the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. During the transition to democracy we can establish a distinction between different attitudes towards both Catalanism and Catalonia adopted by the Spanish government. In general, without going into detail, and on summarizing the aspects that are developed in the coming chapters, it is possible to distinguish four historical moments.

1 After the death of Francisco Franco (1975) and the decision to proceed with the democratic reform of the Spanish state (1976), the Spanish political

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