Contesting Spain? The Dynamics of Nationalist Movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country offers an exploration of the dynamics behind contemporary shifts in the orientation of nationalist parties and movements with reference to Catalonia and the Basque country in Spain. The chapters were originally papers presented at a workshop held at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) in September 2014 as part of a research project on ‘The Dynamics of Nationalist Evolution in Contemporary Spain’, whose purpose was to gain a better understanding of why regionally-based nationalist movements have experienced shifting relationships with the Spanish state over time, in some periods appearing content with accommodation between central and regional government and at other times pushing to go beyond autonomist demands to seek sovereignty or even attain full independence.

The volume is one of the first to focus comparatively on the rise of pro-sovereignty politics in mainstream nationalist parties, whose evolution has also featured more traditional impulses towards territorial accommodation within the wider state. Using the exceptionally rich laboratory provided by Spain, the book explores the dynamics behind shifts in the orientation of nationalist parties and movements once they have established themselves as electorally successful at regional level. Dimensions to the analysis include: the interaction of nationalist parties with central government; pressures from their support bases; competition between parties within the home region; and international influences.

This title is innovative in bringing together experts with a range of disciplinary approaches: primarily political scientists but also historians and scholars located at the cusp between social sciences and humanities.

chapter 1|21 pages

Between accommodation and contestation

The political evolution of Basque and Catalan nationalism

chapter 2|19 pages

When do countries re-centralize?

Ideology and party politics in the age of austerity

chapter 3|19 pages

Nationalist politics at the crossroads

The Basque Nationalist Party and the challenge of sovereignty (1998–2014)

chapter 4|19 pages

A fiscal path to sovereignty?

The Basque Economic Agreement and nationalist politics

chapter 5|20 pages

Catalan independence and the challenge of credibility

The causes and consequences of Catalan nationalist parties’ strategic behaviour

chapter 6|17 pages

Political power and civil counterpower

The complex dynamics of the Catalan independence movement