DifferingBasqueIdeology

DifferingBasqueIdeology - 1 Steven Vidor PSCI 4002...

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Steven Vidor PSCI 4002 Professor Jennifer Ftizgerald 18 December 2007 "Why are Basques in Spain More Separatist Than Basques in France?" The Basque people are an ethno-regional group situated in an common area in that spreads through both Spain and France. They share a common culture, language, and historical identity that unify them into a nation. However, despite their common culture, a cleavage has developed between those residing in the Northern Basque Country of France and the autonomous Basque Country of Spain regarding attitudes towards separation from their governments and the formation of a sovereign Basque state. In France, a state with a highly centralized and republican model, the Basques lack of Basque-nationalistic attitudes have resulted in less support for separation than their Spanish counterparts who display higher amounts of nationalism within the less centralized and multicultural Spain. It is a result of the Basque populations interactions with the state they are in that have reinforced this cleavage. In a study done by Thomas Lancaster comparing two central Basque cities in Spain and France, it was revealed that Basque's in France tend to have a greater tie to the state than in Spain. According to his data, only 3.2% of the respondents in his poll identified themselves as primarily Basque, which is greatly opposed to the 36.4% result in the Spanish side of the survey. Furthermore, France has a greater population of those who identify themselves as mostly French and partly Basque (rather than mostly Basque and partly French), while in Spain a larger percentage identify themselves as mostly 1
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Basque and only partly Spanish. This data speaks largely to their nationalism as the Spanish Basques themselves are far more tied to their Basque culture than the French. The rates of Basque nationalism correlate to the amount of sentiment surrounding separation in the state. In the more French-oriented nationalistic case of Northern Basque Country, statistics show a significantly low amount of support for the establishment of an independent Basque Nation (14%) when in comparison to the near 40% support garnered in the Spanish region. In short, it can be assumed that higher amounts of nationalism go hand in hand with the desire for an independent state. Establishing this, the question then becomes; "What are the different structural situations in France and Spain that allow for Basque nationalism (and as a result, the want for independence) to either thrive or fail?" CENTRALIZED REPUBLICANISM VS. DEVOLVED MULTICULTURALISM First, and foremost, it is important to look at how the state views the Basque regions in a political sense. France, being a highly centralized and republican government, has been very weary of devolving power from the center to the regions . Specifically, Northern Basque country is seen as a smaller part of the French-whole with
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DifferingBasqueIdeology - 1 Steven Vidor PSCI 4002...

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