Special Issue "New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain"

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Carsten Jacob Humlebæk
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, Society and Communication, Copenhagen Business School, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Interests: Spanish nationalism and its various expressions, National symbols and sites of memory (lieux de mémoire), Theories of nationalism and identity (collective), History and politics of memory, nation branding
Dr. Antonia María Ruiz Jiménez
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, Pablo de Olavide University, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
Interests: political sociology, national identity, Spanish nationalism, public opinion, political parties, parties’ manifestos

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nations and nationalism, as organisational principles of social life, provide individuals with a sense of who they are and where they belong. While nations are not the only form of community to serve human kind in this manner, they remain privileged due to their relationship with the nation-state, the dominant form of political organisation. The Spanish nation, however, has been contested almost since its earliest existence; therefore, the Spanish nation-state is involved in perpetual conflicts between various nationalisms, particularly between different versions of Spanish nationalism and Spanish majority nationalism and various minority nationalisms. At different times in history, conflicts have recurred and turned into organising principles of the political communities in Spain, as communities in conflict or contention but, nevertheless, as communities providing the Spaniards with different senses of belonging.

In recent times, both lines of contention have been activated again, both the left-wing vs. right-wing conflict around the definition of the Spanish nation as well as the majority-nationalist vs. minority nationalist conflict. The conflict between left-wing and right-wing interpretations of the Spanish nation, particularly understood as the former losers and winners, respectively, of the Spanish civil war, has recurred since approximately the year 2000 around the contentious issue of affirming or forgetting the so-called ’historical memory’. The conflict between majority and minority nationalism has recurred most recently around the Catalan separatist conflict, but only a few years back the Basque identities were just as conflictual.

These Spanish conflicts have to be situated in the contemporary European and global context where anxieties about sovereignty are causing the revival of emotional messages and strategies to mobilize the citizenry in favour of particular political communities. Both the state-wide, i.e., Spanish, actors as well as the sub-state nationalist parties have attempted to develop feelings of territorial attachment to the Spanish state and political community or to the sub-state political communities, respectively, and both use emotions and feelings to secure support and assert or claim sovereignty for the political community in question.

In the Spanish context, these questions raise a number of issues to be addressed, including the following:

  • The reconfiguration of left- and right-wing nationalist discourses in contemporary Spain;
  • The dialectics between majority and minority nationalisms;
  • The challenge of the so-called “pacto de silencio” and the exemplarity of the Spanish Transition as a recent trend in public opinion and political discourse;
  • The creation of new narratives around historical memory;
  • The emergence of a new radical right-wing in Spain, and its similarities and differences with populist radical right-wing parties in Europe;
  • The strategies by which the Spanish state, or state-wide actors, try to articulate and reproduce a sense of national belonging within the Spanish political community;
  • The reproduction of every-day nationhood within Spain through welfare nationalism, positive self-portrayals of the country, nation-branding, etc;
  • The effects of these strategies on citizens’ feelings of national belonging;
  • The dynamics that strengthen ideological polarization of national identities;
  • Changes in the strength and meaning of Spanish national identity among citizens in contemporary Spain, and this identity’s causes and consequences;
  • New links between national identity and political behaviour in Spain;
  • Uses and abuses of the Spanish Constitution.

Dr. Carsten Jacob Humlebæk
Dr. Antonia María Ruiz Jiménez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nationalisms in Spain
  • national identities in Spain
  • political discourses of belonging
  • politics of memory
  • political uses of history

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
From National Holiday to Independence Day: Changing Perceptions of the “Diada
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010031 - 23 Mar 2020
Abstract
Issues related to Catalan secessionism are central to current debates on European integration, nationalism, and territorial politics, and the Catalan independence movement has become famous for its large annual demonstrations on Catalan national day, the Diada. This paper represents the first attempt [...] Read more.
Issues related to Catalan secessionism are central to current debates on European integration, nationalism, and territorial politics, and the Catalan independence movement has become famous for its large annual demonstrations on Catalan national day, the Diada. This paper represents the first attempt at a thorough empirical investigation of the most important political event in Catalonia combining historical and ethnographic analysis that covers the current modern period from 1977 to 2019. This paper uses a mixed-methods approach to study the Diada mobilisations with two different main approaches determined principally by the availability of sources. We investigate the recent period of activating the Diada since 2012 using qualitative interviews, ethnographic data, and social media analysis. For the more distant periods of the Diada celebration, we use a more classical historical approach centred on discourse analysis of print media and public discourses. We find that there has been a marked shift in the perception and organisation of the Diada in recent years. We conclude that when civil society organisations are in charge of the Diada celebration, the result is a more politically charged event that mobilises a much larger proportion of the population than when politicians and political parties organise the celebration. Further, when political parties are in charge, the Diada not only mobilises far fewer people, but usually takes on a much more cultural and festive character compared with the explicitly political Diada demonstrations organised by civil society actors since 2012. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
Open AccessArticle
The Study of Nation and Patria as Communities of Identity: Theory, Historiography, and Methodology from the Spanish Case
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010023 - 02 Mar 2020
Abstract
This article argues for a renovation in the study of nationalism by addressing the issue of the rationality underlying the decisions by citizens willing to leave their homelands. From the example of unforced exiles from the 1939 Republican diaspora (and inner exiles as [...] Read more.
This article argues for a renovation in the study of nationalism by addressing the issue of the rationality underlying the decisions by citizens willing to leave their homelands. From the example of unforced exiles from the 1939 Republican diaspora (and inner exiles as well), the text starts with providing a theory of disidentification from a nation for the sake of civic commitment. Having shown the relevance of jointly studying the language of nation and patria, it focuses on Spanish post-Francoist historiography of the Early modern period for showing its unbalanced account of discourse revolving around patria in favor of that of nation. Thereafter, it provides a comparative overview of the scholarly interest in patriotism in modern history as depending on different national trajectories of political culture. Finally, it claims a methodological reorientation in the study of nationalism and patriotism by distinguishing between nation and patria as terms, as concepts, and as analytical categories defining distinctive collective identities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
Open AccessArticle
Spanish Conservatives at the Early Stages of Spanish Democracy: Reshaping the Concepts of State and Community in the Thought of Manuel Fraga
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010022 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
This article focused on the evolution of Spanish conservative doctrine in the early years of democracy in Spain. By analyzing the concepts of ‘state’ and ‘community’ in the thought of Manuel Fraga, the Minister of Information and Tourism under the Franco dictatorship and [...] Read more.
This article focused on the evolution of Spanish conservative doctrine in the early years of democracy in Spain. By analyzing the concepts of ‘state’ and ‘community’ in the thought of Manuel Fraga, the Minister of Information and Tourism under the Franco dictatorship and leader of the Spanish right during the 1980s, this article sought to explore: the manner in which the conservatives sought to “democratize” their doctrine to adapt themselves to the new party system and the importance of this conceptual reshaping in establishing the roots of conservative Spanish nationalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
Open AccessArticle
Privileged Rebels: A Longitudinal Analysis of Distinctive Economic Traits of Catalonian Secessionism
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010019 - 15 Feb 2020
Abstract
During the last decade, the Catalonian secessionist challenge induced a chronic crisis within Spain’s politics that does not offer hints of a viable arrangement. The rapidly escalating demands for secession ran almost in parallel with the accentuation of the economic recession that followed [...] Read more.
During the last decade, the Catalonian secessionist challenge induced a chronic crisis within Spain’s politics that does not offer hints of a viable arrangement. The rapidly escalating demands for secession ran almost in parallel with the accentuation of the economic recession that followed the disruption of the world financial system in 2008–2010. Such secession claims reached maximums during 2012–2014, attaining support levels of nearly 50% of citizenry in favour of independence. These figures subsequently diminished a bit but remained close to that level until today. Despite the coincident course, previous studies had shown that the impact of economic hardships was not a major factor in explaining the segregation urgencies, connecting them instead to triggers related to internecine political struggles in the region: Harsh litigations that resulted in an abrupt polarization along nationalistic features in wide segments of the population. In this longitudinal analysis based on the responses of 88,538 individuals through a regular series of 45 official surveys, in the period 2006–2019, we show that economic factors did play a role in the secessionist wave. Our findings showed that the main idiomatic segmentation (Catalan vs. Spanish, as family language) interacted with economic segmentations in inducing variations on national identity feelings that resulted in erosions of the dual CatSpanish identity. Moreover, our findings also showed that the more privileged segments of Catalonian citizenry where those that mostly supported secession, whereas poorer and unprotected citizenry was clearly against it. All the data points to the conclusion that the secessionist challenge was, in fact, a rebellion of the wealthier and well-situated people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
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Open AccessArticle
National Deadlock. Hot Nationalism, Dual Identities and Catalan Independence (2008–2019)
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010015 - 30 Jan 2020
Abstract
The article explores the transformations of Spanish and Catalan national identities and the growth of the pro-independence movement in Catalonia following the 2008 global recession. It argues that the Great Recession provided a new historical context of hot nationalism in which Catalanist narratives [...] Read more.
The article explores the transformations of Spanish and Catalan national identities and the growth of the pro-independence movement in Catalonia following the 2008 global recession. It argues that the Great Recession provided a new historical context of hot nationalism in which Catalanist narratives of loss and resistance began to ring true to large sectors of Catalan society, whereas the Spanish constitutionalist narratives seemed increasingly outdated. The article also shows the limits of the process of mass nationalization by both the Catalan and the Spanish governments and the eventual ‘crystallization’ of an identity and political divide between pro and anti-independence supporters which split Catalan society down the middle and led to a sort of national identity deadlock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
Open AccessArticle
The Spanish Plurinational Labyrinth. Practical Reasons for Criticising the Nationalist Bias of Others While Ignoring One’s Own Nationalist Position
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010007 - 31 Dec 2019
Abstract
To analyse the Spanish national question requires considering the relationship between the idea of the nation and the phenomenon of nationalism on one side, and the question of political plurality on the other. The approval of the Constitutional text 40 years ago was [...] Read more.
To analyse the Spanish national question requires considering the relationship between the idea of the nation and the phenomenon of nationalism on one side, and the question of political plurality on the other. The approval of the Constitutional text 40 years ago was achieved thanks to a delicate semantic balancing act concerning the concept of nation, whose interpretation remains open. Academic studies of public opinion, such as the famous Linz-Moreno Question—also known as Moreno Question—that measures the possible mixture of Spanish subjective national identity, are equally the object of wide controversy. The extent to which political plurinationality is a suitable concept for defining the country is not clear because, amongst other reasons, the political consequences that might derive from adopting the concept are unknown. This article sets out the thesis that Spain is a plurinational labyrinth since there is neither consensus nor are there discursive strategies that might help in forming an image of the country in national terms. The paradox of this labyrinth is that, since the approval of the Constitution in 1978, the political actors have accepted that nationality in Spain is insoluble without taking the plurinational idea into account. But, at the same time, it is not easy to assume such plurinationality in practical terms because the political cost to those actors that openly defend national plurality is very high. For this reason, political discourses in Spain on the national question offer a highly ambiguous scenario, where the actors seek windows of opportunity and are reluctant to take risks in order to solve this puzzle situation. The aim of this paper is to analyse which indicators are most efficient for testing how the different actors position themselves facing the phenomenon of the Spanish plurinational labyrinth. The clearest examples are what we refer to here as the concepts of (i) intersubjective national identity and (ii) plurinational governments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
Open AccessArticle
The Musical Bridge—Intercultural Regionalism and the Immigration Challenge in Contemporary Andalusia
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010005 - 30 Dec 2019
Abstract
The ideals of tolerance and cultural exchange associated with the interfaith past of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) have become a symbol for Andalusian regionalism and for the integration of Moroccan communities. Nowhere is this more keenly felt than in the context of [...] Read more.
The ideals of tolerance and cultural exchange associated with the interfaith past of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) have become a symbol for Andalusian regionalism and for the integration of Moroccan communities. Nowhere is this more keenly felt than in the context of music. In cities such as Granada, Moroccan and Spanish musicians actively promote the ideals of intercultural dialogue through the performance of repertoires such as flamenco and Arab-Andalusian music that allegedly possess a shared cultural history. In this article, we examine the interrelationship between music and ‘intercultural regionalism’, focusing on how music is used by public institutions to ground social integration in the discourse of regionalism. Against a backdrop of rising Islamophobia and the mobilization of right-wing populist and anti-immigration rhetoric both within Spain and internationally, the authors consider how music can be used to promote social integration, to overcome Islamophobia and to tackle radicalization. We advance two arguments. First, we argue that the musical interculturalism promoted by a variety of institutions needs to be understood within the wider project of Andalusian regionalism. Here, we note that musical integration of Spain’s cultural and historical ‘Other’ (Moroccans) into Andalusian society is promoted as a model for how Europe can overcome the alleged ‘death of multiculturalism’. The preferential way to achieve this objective is through ‘intercultural regionalism’, envisioned as the combination of regional identity-building and intercultural interactions between communities that share a common cultural heritage. Second, we assess some of the criticism of the efficacy of al-Andalus as a model for contemporary intercultural exchange. Combining approaches in political science and ethnomusicology, we focus on one case study, the Fundación Tres Culturas (FTC). Through interviews with figures within the FTC, we examine why this model has become partly insufficient and how it is borne out in the sorts of musical activities programmed by FTC that seek to move beyond the ‘andalusí’ myth. We conclude by recognizing the continuing regional and international importance of this myth but we question its integrating capacity at a time of radical political, economic and environmental upheaval. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
Open AccessArticle
Constructing National Identity Through Galician Homeland Tourism
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010001 - 18 Dec 2019
Abstract
Galicia, a national minority and autonomous community of northern Spain, is often defined by its long history of emigration. While not the most common destination of Galician migrants, those that emigrated from the municipalities of Sada and Bergondo in Coruña had uncharacteristically large [...] Read more.
Galicia, a national minority and autonomous community of northern Spain, is often defined by its long history of emigration. While not the most common destination of Galician migrants, those that emigrated from the municipalities of Sada and Bergondo in Coruña had uncharacteristically large rates of migration to the United States. These migrants and their children continue to sustain strong ties to the perceived homeland and engage in repeat visits. Theories of transnationalism help to explain the continuity of identity, but it is with qualitative interviews with homeland tourists in Galicia that this paper will show how it is specifically through frequent visits to the homeland that these Galician-Americans are able to generationally sustain ties to the homeland and create a sense of national belonging. The frequent visits make it possible for many to create a strong Galician identity that is both transnational and locally situated. Through looking at the way these homeland visits construct a Galician identity, we can begin to form a new perspective on Galician nationalism, one that is reflected in the migrants and defined by mobility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
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Open AccessArticle
The Electoral Breakthrough of the Radical Right in Spain: Correlates of Electoral Support for VOX in Andalusia (2018)
Genealogy 2019, 3(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3040072 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
For a long time, Spain was thought of as an outlier because it did not have a significant radical right movement. However, the sudden popularity of VOX among voters in Andalusia has put an end to so-called “Spanish exceptionalism”. The rise of this [...] Read more.
For a long time, Spain was thought of as an outlier because it did not have a significant radical right movement. However, the sudden popularity of VOX among voters in Andalusia has put an end to so-called “Spanish exceptionalism”. The rise of this radical right party is important for two reasons: its potential direct impact on the political system, and the way in which it will affect other political players. The purpose of this research is to explore the factors that have led voters to cast ballots for VOX during the 2018 regional elections in Andalusia. Regression analysis has been carried out in order to test some of the most widely accepted theories in the literature about the radical right vote. The results show that VOX’s vote is fundamentally dictated by broader socio-political factors related to territorial model, ideological self-identification and perception of political leaders. In this sense, two of the most accepted set of explanations—those which consider that the vote for the radical right is conditioned by economic or identity-related vulnerability—are refuted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
Open AccessArticle
Vox España and Alternative für Deutschland: Propagating the Crisis of National Identity
Genealogy 2019, 3(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3040064 - 29 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper contains a comparative analysis of the presentation of the national identity of Spain and Germany by the far-right populist parties Vox España and Alternative für Deutschland. It shows how each party views national identity as being in a serious crisis arising [...] Read more.
This paper contains a comparative analysis of the presentation of the national identity of Spain and Germany by the far-right populist parties Vox España and Alternative für Deutschland. It shows how each party views national identity as being in a serious crisis arising from the betrayal by old-line parties which has led to the increased influence of the EU, the consequent reduction of national sovereignty, a deleterious impact on their own and on European culture, and a harmful influence on the family. The parties repudiate many of the provisions of the EU treaties. They are equally opposed to the presence of Islam in Christian Europe, viewing it as a menace to values shared by all European nations. These analyses lead to an examination of the performance of crisis by means of deliberate provocation and the use of electronic media. It shows how these parties from very different parts of Europe share remarkably close positions and use the technological achievements of the twenty-first century to attack the late-twentieth-century political and social achievements of the European Union in order to replace them with the nineteenth-century idea of the distinct ethno-cultural nation fully sovereign in its own nation-state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
Open AccessArticle
Conflict in Catalonia: A Sociological Approximation
Genealogy 2019, 3(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3040056 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
This article follows the approach originally pioneered by Juan Linz to the empirical study of nationalism. We make use of original survey data to situate the emergent social division around the question of independence within a broader constellation of power relations. We bring [...] Read more.
This article follows the approach originally pioneered by Juan Linz to the empirical study of nationalism. We make use of original survey data to situate the emergent social division around the question of independence within a broader constellation of power relations. We bring into focus a variety of demographic, cultural, behavioral and attitudinal indicators with which this division is associated. We emphasize the special salience of language practices and ideologies in conditioning, if not determining, attitudes towards independence. We stress the continuing legacy of what Linz famously referred to as a “three-cornered conflict” among “regional nationalists, the central government and immigrant workers,” which has long conditioned democratic politics in the region. More concretely, we show how the reinforcing cleavages of language and class are reflected in, and indeed have been exacerbated by, the ongoing political conflict between pro-independence and pro-unionist camps in Catalonia. At the same time, we highlight that near half of the Catalan citizenry has come to register a rather intense preference in favor of independence, and we conclude that this sociological reality renders it quite difficult for Spanish authorities to enforce the will of the Spanish majority without appearing to tyrannize the Catalan minority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain)
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