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Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe$
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Richard Gunther, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, and Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.001.0001

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Multilevel Governance and the Transformation of Regional Mobilization and Identity in Southern Europe, with Particular Attention to Catalonia and the Basque Country

Multilevel Governance and the Transformation of Regional Mobilization and Identity in Southern Europe, with Particular Attention to Catalonia and the Basque Country

Chapter:
(p.235) 6 Multilevel Governance and the Transformation of Regional Mobilization and Identity in Southern Europe, with Particular Attention to Catalonia and the Basque Country
Source:
Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe
Author(s):

Iván Llamazares

Gary Marks

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.003.0006

South European countries share a tradition of centralized government, which was reinforced by authoritarian regimes. However, democratization was accompanied by regional mobilization, particularly in Spain, where the double pressure from the EU and empowered regional governments weakened the central state. Examples are Catalonia and the Basque Country, which have strong ethno-territorial movements that took advantage of Spain's integration into the EU. European integration provided regional actors with new avenues for mobilization. The Basque Country is subjected to a destabilizing contest between nationalists and non-nationalists, while Catalan nationalists have been more pragmatic, without loosing their assertiveness and their focus on obtaining ever greater autonomy. Survey data show that the share of Basques and Catalans who consider themselves exclusively Spanish has declined dramatically, while after 1979 the share of those who claim having balanced multiple identities has risen. While separatism has become weaker over time, European integration has strengthened territorial identities.

Keywords:   multi-level governance, territorial politics, regional mobilization, nationalism, multiple identities, Basque Country, Catalonia

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