As recently as the mid-2000s, Catalonia was described and analysed by scholars as exhibiting a non-secessionist nationalism and was seen within Europe and beyond as a role model for successful devolution which had much to teach other parts of the world. The Spanish state seemed to be on a journey towards an authentic federal order and was generally admired. However, the new century has been marked by an ever-growing independence movement, with 47.8 per cent of Catalonia voting in favour of independence in September 2015. Pro-independence mobilization has produced a rupture in political relations with the rest of Spain leading to a sovereignty struggle with Madrid.
This book explores how an accumulation of long-, medium- and short-term factors have produced the current situation and why the Spanish territorial model has been unable or possibly, unwilling, to respond. The Catalan question is not purely a Spanish problem: it has direct implications for the traditional nation-state model, in Europe and beyond.
Chapter 1: History and context
Chapter 2: Culture, language and identity
Chapter 3: The crisis of Catalanism
Chapter 4: Constructing a movement for independence
Chapter 5: Catalonia, north of the south, south of the north: The economic crisis and its consequences