Catalan Politics 101 with Andrew Dowling

Episode 31: Basque Nationalism: The Origins of Basque Nationalism and Anti-colonialist Rhetoric with Maria Reyes Baztán The Sobremesa Podcast

Nationalism has made a comeback in the 21st century and Spain is not exempt. Often people mistake Spain for a large country, when in fact it is a large block of several regional identities. Famously, the Catalan independence movement has highlighted this fact and also caused a rise in the national Spanish identity. However this is not a new phenomenon. Spain's regional identities have challenged Spanish nationalists desired unity since at least the 19th century Whilst the regional identities often get along well together, this has not always been the case. During Franco's era, regional identities were suppressed, and following his death the rise of ETA in the Basque country and beyond came to overshadow any talk of the Basque identity. Maria Reyes Baztán, a researcher from Warwick University, joins me to explain the history of Basque nationalism and the origins of the anti-colonial rhetoric they still use to this day.
  1. Episode 31: Basque Nationalism: The Origins of Basque Nationalism and Anti-colonialist Rhetoric with Maria Reyes Baztán
  2. Episode 30: The Catalan Elections (and the following week)
  3. Episode 29: Catalan Politics 101 with Andrew Dowling
  4. Episode 28: Vox and Spanish Nationalism
  5. Episode 27: Spanish municipalism with Vicente Rubio-Pueyo

On Sunday the 14th February 2021, Catalonia will go to the polls, this time to elect a regional government. This is the second regional election since the October 2017 independence referendum.

The first in December 2017 was called by then Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, in that election the biggest party Cuidudanos won the most seats but could not form an administration. A regional government was formed by independence forces JuntsxCats/ERC/CUP. Quimm Torra was elected as regional president.

In the April 2019 general election, Torra went against Spanish election rules. After many long judicial battles, Torra was dismissed as regional premier and forced to call regional elections. These are those elections.

Since the 2017 elections much has changed in Catalan politics and national Spanish politics. Both are intertwined and can effect each other.

Here is my interview with Andrew Dowling, a lecturer at Cardiff University and author of the book The Rise of Catalan Independence: Spain’s Territorial Crisis. Here he explains recent developments in Catalan politics and the build up to these elections.

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