Theor(1 recent spiral in the number of active separatist movements acrossEurope hasn’t gone overlookedby political commentators.According to Business Insider (2017), the number of active separatistor(2 movements across twenty-four states in Europe stands at sixty-seven andfor many, the rise in intrastate tensions is quickly altering the geopoliticalstructure of Europe.
Drawing from the all-recent independence referendums in Catalan (2017) andScotland (2014), which this research paper will focus on, the driving forcesbehind irredentist motivationsfalls down first and foremost to questions over national identity. For example,national identity for Catalans is a problem in a multifarious state like Spain, where the languageand cultural peculiarities in the periphery juxtaposes that of the core. Thishas consequently led to an increase in support for independent/ nationalistparties over time, with political figures who represent such parties sheddinglight on how greater autonomy will coincide with greater benefitssocioeconomically. This research paper will also examine how pivotal momentssuch as, independence referendums and financial crises are intrinsically tiedto the growing desire for independence. LiteratureReviewThis section of the research paper discusses previousor(3 literature on the reasons for public support for territorialindependence in 21st century Europe.
A number of literature holdnational identity as the source of the all-recent drive for independence in Europe and lookat this idea of national identity from either a historian’s or social scientist’sstandpointor(4 . This research paper will focus on thelatter, who argue that national identity is not ‘naturally given’ and is aresult of ‘over-identification with one tradition’ (Golubovic?, 2010). In an objective sense, all members ofthe social unit willshare the same properties such as symbols, language, religion, common history,values and traditions’ (Inac, 2013) and in turn, the individual internalisesor(5 the values of that particular society,while directly orindirectly disregarding other forms of social expressions. Asa result, the drive for nationalism comes from strong national identity, with White(2010) defining nationalism in three parts: 1. People identify deeply with a community 2.
Such people believe that the communityshould have a state 3. People are willing to defend this statewith their livesThus,if the laws and institutions in the political core are the results of culturalprocesses, it can be difficult for the individuals on the periphery or from adifferent cultural background to accept them (Mitchell, 2012). Forexample, the Volkgeist theory refers to the “spirit” and “national character”of a group of people.
The variations between Catalonians and Spaniards stemsfrom the self-reliance, proactivity and parsimony of Catalonians (Llobera,2004), thus reifying whythey want to reclaim their national identity and be a sovereign state becauseof their differing values. However, modernists have questioned whether sociocultural differences are/explain the underlying reasons for the rise in support for regionalparties across Europe. For modernists, the strategies of nationalists reflectedpatterns of industrialisation and nationalism itself was perceived as a derivative idea of thefunctional necessities of industrialisation (Newman, 2000). With oneregion developing more rapidly than the rest of the country, this results insuch regions being more likely to want autonomy, as they view themselves asself-sufficient. However, some argue that the modernist theory is arguably flawed, as anational culture is the first step in the push towards independence. It promotesinclusiveness, citizen compliance and thus, legitimises political rule (Harty,2001).
The risein territorial independence has been effective because of the increasingmouthpiece independent party members are for the masses. In essence, they arethe voice of reason for the people of the peripheral and seek policies thatwill favour irredentist supporters. Politicians in some of Europe’s activeseparatist regions agree that they ‘lack the appropriate decision-making powerin important domains such as taxation and public spending’ (Noble, 2014).Through use of rhetoric’s such as “the way forward” by Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party(SNP) and “we make independence possible” by the Catalan Solidarity for Independenceparty, they have been able to inspire feelings of confidence intopro-independence supporters and shed light on how secession will achieve self-determinationover political and fiscal policies. Evidently, this is expressed through the increase in vote shares for pro-independencepartiesDesignof the projectThedesign of this project will focus on how differences in identity has drivenindependence movements in Europe, focusing particularly on Catalonia andScotland. In Spain, a state that is known for its diversity, Catalonians haveincreasingly gone from a large part of the population overwhelminglyidentifying with both the Spanish and Catalonian way of life, to justidentifying with the Catalonian culture in the last decade. Similarly, inScotland, their identification to British culture has also seen a change,though it is not as pronounced as the Spain-Catalonia case.
I will then lightlytouch on economic factors and see if this acts as an underlying driving forcebehind pro-independence movements, using statistical data. ResearchDesignThis section details the method I will use to gathermy data. As aforementioned, national identity is an important factor pushingpro-independence movements in Europe. I will use secondary quantitative data toinvestigate the underlying reasons behind why Catalonia has gone from anincreasingly dual identity stateto a state that onlyidentifies with one culture and one way of life.
The graph below looks at the ways identity inthe Catalan region has changed between 1979 to 2010. As my research question is’what are the causes of public support for territorial independence in Europein the 21st century?’, I am going to identify periods of highassociation of Catalonian identity and see if this is linked to specific eventsthat took place in Spain and see if this was a contributing factor to theincrease in Catalonian identity. or(1Write this introduction properly withsignposts or(2Or secessionist? or(3Next bit I can write builds upon previousresearch undertaken/ conducted by ___ or(4Should I list these literatures? or(5And practices?