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Tag Archives: Catalonia

Who supports Catalan independence, and is there a way forward?

Using recent survey data, Sergi Pardos-Prado explains that support for independence in Catalonia is strongly driven by education and language, and robustly associated with liberal sociocultural values. When it comes to the way forward, there is little consensus on the best outcome for Catalonia: those who favour independence are not in a majority, but those who oppose independence are split on the best alternative. However, a degree of consensus does exist on the process, with a large...

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Is democracy going digital? Why the Twitter debate on Catalonia’s independence matters

Looking at the case of the Catalonia independence debate, Joan Balcells and Albert Padró-Solanet find that the popular perception of social media as creating polarised echo-chambers of extreme political opinions is far from the full picture. They find evidence that Twitter can foster engaged, substantive conversations across partisan lines. This picture demonstrates how social media has the capacity to genuinely improve democratic discussions, and open up arenas of public debate. Obama’s 2008...

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Challenges on the 40th anniversary of the Spanish constitution: Can Spain find a way to accommodate Catalonia?

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Spanish constitution, which came into effect on 29 December 1978. But as Javier Garcia Oliva explains, the status of Catalonia within Spain represents a major challenge for the current constitutional order. He writes that while Pedro Sanchez has an unenviable task in disentangling all of the issues surrounding Catalonia, the events of 1978 might serve as inspiration for Spanish society as it seeks to find a way through the Catalan crisis. The...

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The Catalan and Spanish crisis: A European perspective

The Catalan independence question remains one of the key issues on the agenda for Spain’s new Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, as he completes his first month in office. Sebastian Balfour writes that Sánchez is likely to carry out a holding operation in the hope that support for his Socialists will grow ahead of the next general election, while the Catalan coalition government is bound by some of its parliamentary partners to continue pursuing independence. It is perhaps an appropriate moment...

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Finding a way out of the Catalan labyrinth

Almost four months after regional elections, Catalonia still has no government, and there is no end in sight in the stand-off over Catalan independence. Astrid Barrio and Bonnie N. Field write that there remain major international and judicial impediments to forming a new government, as well as notable splits in opinion within the pro-independence movement on the best strategy to pursue. And with political actors reaching an impasse, street protests and direct action initiatives have started...

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The troubling legal and political uncertainty facing Catalonia

There is still no end in sight to the political uncertainty in Catalonia. As Javier García Oliva writes, the issue has raised questions over processes of constitutional reform in Spain. He highlights that constitutional systems tend to make amendments difficult precisely to avoid short-term political winds driving the state in directions which may be damaging to minority interests. But while constitutions should not be carried away by every political tide and current, where there is a tidal...

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Dialogue is the only answer to the Catalan crisis

The elections in Catalonia on 21 December produced a broadly similar level of support for parties in favour of independence as the previous elections in 2015. James Irving argues that although Catalonia appears to have found itself back where it started, there is plenty of room for lessons to be learned from the last few months, and the only way forward is now for real dialogue to take place between both sides. Credit: Spencer Means (CC BY-SA 2.0) Catalonia returned a separatist...

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Catalonia, the quest for understanding: Three things to watch following the 21 December election

Catalonia held elections on 21 December, with parties that support independence winning a majority of seats in the parliament, although the number of seats they control fell from 72 to 70. Luis Moreno highlights several key questions that will now have to be settled: what type of coalition government will emerge; will constitutional reform now take place in Spain; and will polarisation around the independence issue continue to cut across left-right ideological lines in Catalan politics....

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Understanding Spain’s decision to revoke the European Arrest Warrant for Carles Puigdemont

With Catalan elections scheduled for 21 December, the fate of Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium in October, has taken on added significance. The latest twist in the case came on 5 December, when the Spanish authorities revoked a European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont, amid suggestions he was intending to voluntarily return to Spain. Auke Willems explains the most recent developments, writing that while the Belgian courts, European law, and possibly the EU’s institutions have been given a...

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How EU law came to the fore in the Catalan independence debate – and what it means for Carles Puigdemont

The Catalan independence movement has made repeated calls for EU actors to take a role in resolving the crisis that followed the independence referendum in October, but until now the response from EU leaders has largely been that the situation is an internal one to be dealt with in Spain. Auke Willems writes that despite the EU’s intention to stay quiet on the matter for as long as possible, the case of Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium in October, has now brought EU law into the crisis,...

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