Catalonia

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Philosophers have long argued over who has the right to self-determination and by what means. For nationalists, the answer might be obvious – it is the nation. Yet we know that nations are created, reshaped and contested over time. Primordial constructions of the nation, based on blood and descent, are sociologically discredited. So for some of its residents, Catalonia is a nation while others see it as a region of Spain. Other thinkers argue that self-determination applies only to existing states, except in the case of overseas colonial rule (it is called the ‘salt water’ doctrine).
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Neither the Spanish nor Catalan government's have the mandate or the room for manoeuvre that would allow them to break the current impasse, says Michael Keating. 
 
Catalans’ views on the proposed independence referendum differ. Some are completely in favour and will vote Yes. Others believe that Catalonia has the right to have a say on its own future but would vote No. A few support the Spanish Government’s stance, that any kind of vote on independence is out of the question.
 
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Although there are apparent similarities between the Scottish and Catalan independence movements, the differences, argues Dr Daniel Cetrà, are profound. 
 
It is tempting to think of Catalonia and Scotland as being in similar position.
 
Both have pro-independence governments, which enjoy parliamentary majorities owing to the support of smaller secessionist parties.
 
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What will happen in Catalonia on October 1? Something, for sure, says Michael Keating, but it's really not clear what that will be. 
 
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Daniel Cetrà discusses yesterday's gathering in Catalonia. He explains that the Catalan pro-independence camp remains highly mobilised and that the Catalan and Spanish political situations are complex and interconnected.

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans gathered yesterday in five cities, including Barcelona, to demand independence. It is the fifth consecutive year that, on the national day of Catalonia, the pro-independence camp takes the streets in huge numbers.

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Twenty five years ago, the historian Eric Hobsbawm announced the end of nations and nationalism. Like the Owl of Minerva, they appeared in view only as they flew into the twilight. In 2015, however, nationalism looks very much alive, with restive movements even in established states like the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain. This might seem at odds with the movement to European unity but in practice the two are linked.
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On November 26th, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised the academic debate “Independence Movements in Europe. Threat or Opportunity for the EU?” in cooperation with the Centre on Constitutional Change of the University of Edinburgh and with presence of the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the UK and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.

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On November 26th, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised the academic debate “Independence Movements in Europe. Threat or Opportunity for the EU?” in cooperation with the Centre on Constitutional Change of the University of Edinburgh and with presence of the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the UK and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.

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  • 16th October 2018

    Bavaria’s long-dominant party, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), has reached its worst election result in 60 years. As well as causing a headache for Angela Merkel, argues Patrick Utz, this political earthquake reveals Bavaria’s predicament between regionalism and populism,.

  • 15th October 2018

    As the buildup to the EU Council meeting reaches fever pitch, Richard Parry explains that deals at dawn may work in Brussels but they don't always play to the home crowd.

  • 13th October 2018

    Theresa May’s efforts to keep her DUP allies onside may, suggests Prof Nicola McEwen, end up easing Nicola Sturgeon’s path to independence following any subsequent referendum on the subject.

  • 12th October 2018

    The Commission on Justice in Wales, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, will further clarify the legal and political identity of Wales within the UK constitution. Doing so, explains Prof Dan Wincott, will also bring clarity to the enduring significance of other territorial legal jurisdictions.

  • 11th October 2018

    The Brexit and Environment network has spent the last year researching the implications of Brexit for environmental policy, with a particular focus on the devolved nations, which are all too often overlooked in these debates. They have developed three reports that detail their findings from meetings with stakeholders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and they bring together insights from these in an overarching UK report. In this blog post, they summarise their key findings and recommendations.

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