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Globalization and Nationalism

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Natalie Sabanadze

Chapter 5. Globalization and Basque Nationalism

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  • 1 Cited in Georg Sorensen (2004) The Transformation of the State: Beyond the Myth of Retreat, New Yo (...)
  • 2 Ibid., p. 94.
  • 3 Mary Kaldor and Diego Muro (2003) “Religious and Nationalist Militant Groups” in Global Civil Soci (...)
  • 4 Sorensen, The Transformation of the State, p. 94.
  • 5 Montserrat Guibernau also makes similar arguments and suggests that for “Catalans, Scots, Welsh an (...)
  • 6 Cited in Sorenson, The Transformation of the State, p. 94.

1Globalization, it is argued, triggers the rise of new forms of nationalism not only in post-communist countries but also in the Western world. It is also arguably involved in the revival and reinvigoration of historic nationalisms of stateless nations in Europe and elsewhere. One analysis counts some 35 regions or ethnic groups that are seeking a higher degree of autonomy or secession in the OECD area.1 These include movements in Scotland, Wales, Northern Italy, Quebec, Spain (the Basque Country and Catalonia), Belgium, and others. These movements, although part of ongoing international conflicts for a long time, have arguably become more active and visible in the context of globalization.2 Thus for Mary Kaldor and Diego Muro the growth of militant nationalist and religious groups can be explained in terms of the insecurities generated by globalization as well as disillusion with the secular ideologies of the state.3 An alternative view on the relationship between nationalist movements and globalization sees the reinvigoration process in terms of new opportunities opening up for regional and ethnic groups in the global world. Therefore, according to Georg Sorenson, with the growth of supranational institutions a new level “above” the nations has been emerging, which can be seen as a new partner for regional and ethnic movements.4 Scottish or Basque nationalists, in other words, prefer dealing with Brussels than with London or Madrid, because the latter two are seen as old centers of repression and control. Supranational Europe holds for many national minorities the promise of enhancing their autonomy and achieving greater national self-determination and recognition.5 It also represents an alternative source of loyalty and identification. In the words of the Lombard leader Paulo Friggerio, “we care about being Lombards first and Europeans second. Italy means nothing to us.”6 The purpose of this chapter is to explore the relationship between globalization and traditional regional nationalisms of Europe on the example of Spain’s Basque Autonomous Community (the Basque Country). It addresses the following main questions: What are the causes of the rise and persistence of Basque nationalism? Did the nature of Basque nationalism, its objectives, motivations, and political appeal change under the influences of globalization? Can we speak about the development of new nationalism in the Basque Country? And more generally, what kind of relationship exists between globalization and Basque nationalism?

2There are two main hallmarks that epitomize Basque Country today —ETA and Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum. The first represents Basque nationalism in its most radical, militant and uncompromising form, while the second stands as both a symbol and a tribute to the ongoing globalization of the Basque Country. Since the very beginnings, the interplay between forces of globalization and nationalism has characterized the region. It is a commonly held view that modernization and industrialization of the Basque Country were one of the major causes of the birth of Basque nationalism in the 19th century. In the 20th century, the revival and radicalization of Basque nationalism occurred alongside Spain’s growing globalization and incorporation into global economic and political processes. To this very day, Basque nationalism shows no signs of abating, representing a fascinating case for exploring what seems to be an awkward coexistence between forces of global integration and nationalist fragmentation.

  • 7 Euskadi is the name devised for the Basque Country by the founder of Basque nationalism Sabino Ara (...)
  • 8 Other scholars have used a different and more detailed periodization for the history of Basque nat (...)

3This chapter begins with a historic overview in order to better illustrate and explain the phenomenon of Basque nationalism and trace the process of its evolution. It argues that Basque nationalism has four defining aspects: it is an ideology, a movement, a tradition, and an institution. It acquired these four components over the course of a hundred years since Sabino Arana first elaborated his vision of a free Euskadi.7 Probing into the historic roots of Basque nationalism helps explain its current nature and contemporary discourse, which is heavily loaded with historic analogies and often relies on arguments either inherited from the past or justified in the name of the past. This chapter, therefore, traces the development of Basque nationalism from its beginnings in the late 19th century to today, singling out three main stages: the foundation of the ideology and consolidation of the nationalist movement from Sabino Arana through the Second Republic; Francoism and the diversification of nationalism; and finally, the transition to democracy and the institutionalization of nationalism in the post-Franco Basque Country.8

5.1 Sabino Arana and the Beginnings of Basque Nationalism

  • 9 Navarra enjoys a separate autonomy and makes the Basque Country divided into two autonomous commun (...)
  • 10 In nationalist discourse, Euskara figures as an essential element of the Basque identity: “languag (...)
  • 11 Some scholars have connected Euskara to Caucasian languages, namely Georgian and Circassian that a (...)
  • 12 See the documentary by Julio Medem, La Pelota Vasca (2003).
  • 13 Joseba Zulaika (1988) Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament, Reno: University of Nevada Press, p (...)

4The Basque Country or Euskadi stretches along the Bay of Biscay cutting inland for about 200 km. The territory of the Basque Country is approximately 20,644 sq km and is divided between Spain and France. This chapter deals specifically with the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain, which consists of Navarra,9 Alava, Guipúzcoa, and Vizcaya and which has been the site of virulent nationalist struggle for many decades. The Basque provinces on the French side include Lapurdi, Zuberoa, and Basse-Navarre and form the part of the Atlantic Pyrenees Department of France. The origins of the Basque people and its ancient language remain a mystery that has fascinated Basques and foreigners alike for many years. Basques conceive of themselves as different from others and like to be recognized as such. Their language, called Euskara is one of the defining components of the Basque distinctiveness.10 It is the only non-Indo-European language still spoken in Western Europe and has an ancient and complex grammar. There have been several attempts to trace the linguistic roots of Euskara, but all have suffered a lack of scientific evidence and plausibility.11 Many Basques are very proud of their ancient language, and think it should be protected not only as a spoken idiom but also as a museum piece unique in the European context.12 The old and mysterious origins of the Basque language and people came to play an important role in the Basque nationalist discourse, which repeatedly emphasized, especially in the early days, the invaluable unique nature and individuality of the Basque nation. Thus, according to Joseba Zulaika, “in connection with their linguistic insularity, Basque identity is founded on an acute awareness of their enigmatic past. Their being a “mystery people” is also what seems to be of most interest about Basques to outsiders. No founding myth or political revolution is a substitute for such an archaic definition of their group origin. Identity runs in an unbroken line from the ancestors…”13

  • 14 The title of Arana’s book can be translated as Biscay for Its Independence. It represents the firs (...)
  • 15 Diego Muro (2008) Ethnicity and Violence: The Case of Radical Basque Nationalism, London: Routledg (...)
  • 16 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p. 40.

5Nationalism in the Basque Country is known to have emerged in the late 19th century, namely in 1890s, when the founding father of Basque nationalism Sabino Arana de Goiri published his first nationalist pamphlet Bizkaya por su independencia14 in 1893 and two years later, in 1895, founded the Basque Nationalist Party, PNV—Partido Nacionalista Vasco. The precursors of nationalism, however, go back to the two Carlist Wars that were fought predominantly in the Basque territories and aimed at the defense of traditional customs and laws called fueros. As Diego Muro noted, the wars started out as a dispute over dynastic rights but ended up bringing into confrontation urban liberalism with rural traditionalism.15 The triggering issue was the struggle for the Spanish succession when Don Carlos, the younger brother of Fernando VII, contested the will of the moribund king to leave the throne to his three-year-old daughter, Princess Isabel. The nominal legal issue raised by the supporters of Don Carlos was the violation of the Salic Law, which allowed succession to the throne through the male line only. In reality, however, at stake was the power struggle between the Spanish conservativism and a rising liberalism. According to Stanley Payne, “the issue in the Carlist wars was the continuation of traditional Spanish institutions—governmental, social, and religious—or their replacement by a centralized parliamentary constitutional monarchy and an individualistic, capitalist society.”16

  • 17 M. K. Flynn (2000) Ideology, Mobilization and the Nation, London: Macmillan, p. 98.
  • 18 For the discussion of proto-nationalism see Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalisms since 1780.
  • 19 Fueros were local customs and laws according to which different Spanish provinces governed themsel (...)
  • 20 Some nationalist interpreters of Basque history characterized the Carlist Wars as wars of independ (...)
  • 21 Juan Diez Medrano (1995) Divided Nations: Class, Politics, and Nationalism in the Basque Country a (...)
  • 22 As Arturo Campion stated in 1906: “We proudly called ourselves fueristas in riskier times than tod (...)

6Carlism has been regarded as one of Europe’s oldest popular movements of the far right.17 It can also been described as a kind of protonationalism,18 which laid the groundwork for the subsequent emergence and success of the nationalist ideology and movement. Even though Carlism was an all Spanish phenomenon, its main strongholds were in the Basque provinces and Catalonia. Basques supported Don Carlos for two main reasons: the first was to defend their traditional religious order against the rising tide of “godless liberalism”; and the second, to preserve their old laws and privileges known as fueros, which Carlos promised to restore and respect.19 The fact that the Basque Country almost unanimously supported the Carlist cause, while liberals recruited their followers from other parts of Spain, created a sense of confrontation between Basques and the rest of Spain. Even though it would be a historical inaccuracy to interpret the Carlist wars as the Basque struggle for national liberation and separation from Spain,20 they did contribute to an intensified sense of difference and opposition between the Basques and the rest of Spain. According to Juan Diez Medrano, the support for and later defeat of Carlism created feelings of invasion among the Basques and significantly enhanced their ethnic consciousness.21 Subsequently, many Carlists, who also defined themselves as fueristas, joined the ranks of the Basque Nationalist Party and became fervent supporters of the emerging Basque nationalism.22 Nationalism, therefore, stepped in the same political space that Carlism had occupied and further developed its main tenants including fueros, religion, and traditionalism.

  • 23 Corcuera, La Patria de los Vascos, p.15.
  • 24 For example, the Basque Nationalist Party demanded the reintroduction of fueros during the constit (...)

7Carlism was defeated in 1876 and the Basque fueros abolished. The abolition of fueros was widely condemned in the Basque Country and perceived as a collective affront and a violation of people’s rights. It gave an impetus for a nostalgic and romanticized representation of the foral order and the traditional, rural society that led to the rise of a cultural and political mobilization within the Basque Country. Javier Corcuera noted how calls for the restoration of the fueros and praise of their value and significance evolved into the politicized eulogies of Basque culture and acquired a special role in Basque nationalist discourse.23 Even today, one can hear nationalist appeals to restore the fueros and thus acknowledge the unique place of the Basque Country in Spain. Given the extensive autonomy enjoyed by the Basques today, such calls may appear anachronistic.24 However, their meaning becomes understandable if one takes the symbolic value of the fueros into account, which has been skillfully reconstructed as part of Basque nationalist discourse. The reinstatement of the fueros has always constituted one of the major nationalist demands because they were defined and presented not as outdated collection of medieval laws and customs, but as valuable symbols of Basque autonomy and traditions that require due respect and recognition from the Spanish authorities.

  • 25 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p.42.
  • 26 Ibid., pp. 42–43.

8Apart from the defense of fueros, one of the main pillars of the developing nationalist ideology and the major source of support for Carlism in the Basque Country was religion. Basques were not only traditionalists but also devoted Catholics who believed that the traditional religious order with the Church at its center had to be rescued from the “enemies of God,” the liberals.25 As Payne observed, such a fervent support of the Church and religion among the Basques was rather surprising since the separation between church and state institutions was more clearly observed in the Basque provinces than anywhere else in Spain. Even the Inquisition had relatively restricted power. Nevertheless, the Basques took the anti-clerical assault of the liberals as a challenge to their society and its governing rules and norms.26 Religion became incorporated into the Basque nationalist doctrine and, along with “old laws” or fueros, developed into one of the founding principles of the emerging nationalist movement.

  • 27 Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 51.
  • 28 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 49.

9“God and the Old Law” became the motto of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) founded by Sabine Arana (1865–1903), the person to whom, according to Diego Muro, Basque nationalism owes almost everything.27 Arana was from a Carlist family. His father was a prosperous constructor of river barges who had come close to bankruptcy because of his financial support for the Carlist cause. According to Heiberg, Arana inherited from his Carlist family an adherence to religious fundamentalism and a total aversion to modern, liberal Spain.28 His nationalist doctrine was based on conservative traditions of foralism (fuerismo) and Carlism; and at the same time, represented a reaction to the complete incorporation of the Basque Country into Spain and rapid industrialization which was destroying the traditional order and the way of living that Arana valued and romanticized.

  • 29 Toward the end of his life Arana modified his secessionist position and a accepted a more compromi (...)
  • 30 Arana’s political program specified that “foreigners would be allowed to establish themselves in B (...)
  • 31 The idea of a separate “Basque race” was based on several biological features particularly charact (...)

10Arana’s nationalism had a number of new, defining characteristics, making it the most radical exposition of nationalist sentiments that the Basque Country had ever known. First, it was a secessionist nationalism. Arana and his followers viewed independence as the only way to be taken by the Basque people in their attempt to preserve Basque culture and tradition from corrupting foreign, mainly Spanish, influences.29 Second, it was a highly ethnocentric and exclusive ideology. The inclusion of foreigners and especially Spaniards into the Basque community was seen as impossible and undesirable even through strategies of assimilation and acculturation.30 Third, the Aranist conception of nationalism was organic and primordialist. Only pure Basques, defined as those with Basque surnames, were qualified to be members of the Basque community and join the ranks of the Basque Nationalist Party. Arana was convinced that the Basques represented a different and a superior race that had to be preserved and defended.31

  • 32 For the similar point see Ludger Mees (2003) Nationalism, Violence and Democracy, New York: Palgra (...)
  • 33 Conversi, The Basques, the Catalans, and Spain, p. 61.

11It was the notion of Basque race and not language that was the fundamental pillar of Basque identity, since the language in the 19th century Basque Country was on the verge of disappearance and suffered from a status of inferiority. Arana himself, despite years of effort, could not speak it fluently. Therefore, he thought it would be unwise to tie the idea of the Basque nation with the fragile Euskara and opted for what he saw as more potent and visible barrier—race.32 According to Daniele Conversi, such an exclusivist and isolationist posture can be explained by the nationalists’ pervasive insecurity and pessimism over the possibility of assimilating foreigners. “This attitude was inextricably tied to the poor diffusion of the language, the difficulty faced by prospective learners, and the lack of availability of other national symbols. In the absence of language, race provided a ready-made criterion that proved much more pervasive.”33

  • 34 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p.72.
  • 35 Ibid., p. 73.

12Linked to the above is the fourth characteristic of early Basque nationalism, which is its defensive nature. Arana depicted the Basque people and its culture as endangered both by Spanish domination and by the increasingly corrupting influences of doctrines such as liberalism and socialism. In addition, the rising number of immigrant workers who carried with them their “savage” traditions and socialist affiliations was also seen as particularly threatening to the nationalist vision of the Basque people. Finally, Arana’s nationalism was a conservative and highly religious ideology. The independent Basque Country was conceived as Roman, apostolic, and Catholic in every manifestation of its internal and external affairs.34 In the words of Stanley Payne, “Arana’s ideology was a unique blend of nineteenth-century Spanish post-Carlist apostolicism with modern European ethnic nationalism.”35

13Arana’s nationalism formed more than a century ago bears a striking resemblance to modern-day new nationalisms as described by globalization theorists. It was highly exclusive, radical, and intolerant (not to say racist), seeking defense of cultural particularism and fragmentation of the state it belonged to. It was a reaction to the processes of modernization and industrialization that undermined the security of the traditional Basque society and introduced a new set of threats, challenges, and uncertainties. Politically, it was close to the populist, far-right movements and ideologies sharing their concerns, values, and political goals. Arana’s nationalism is yet another exposition of how little novelty there is to contemporary nationalism, either in terms of concepts or practices.

  • 36 Miguel de Unamuno “Porque se Emborracha el Vasco?” cited in Patxo Unzueta (1988) Los Nietos de la (...)
  • 37 See Miroslav Hroch (1985) Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge (...)
  • 38 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 77.

14Initially, Arana’s nationalism was met with a cold, cautious, and at times hostile reception among Basques. As Miguel de Unamuno, one of the most prominent Basques in Spanish history and an ardent critic of Arana, noted: “this emerging nationalism is a doctrine of horrible simplicity. It is entirely based on a series of prejudices, legends, and conventional errors. Its success, more than anything else, derives from the utter lack of critical thinking on the part of its propagators as well as its adherents.”36 Nevertheless, the nationalist ideology gained steady popularity over the next twenty years and consolidated itself into a cohesive political movement. The expansion of nationalism reached its apogee by the First World War, which in Hroch’s model of nationalist development would translate into the final Phase C (the rise of a mass national movement).37 According to Marianne Heiberg, the Basque nationalist community has been successfully forged, defining itself in reference to nationalist ideology and in opposition to other political forces present in the Basque Country. In the words of Heiberg, “despite internal dissentions, it saw itself as one great family tied by blood, culture, shared interests and destiny. It has its own theatre, clergy, press, schools (ikastolas), women’s organizations, labor organizations, youth groups, academics’ and farmers’ associations.”38

  • 39 Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 69.

15The divisions within the Basque nationalist community in general and the PNV in particular resurfaced after the death of Sabino Arana. The party became split between pragmatists and radicals, who disagreed on how to interpret the works of Arana and on how to pursue self-determination of the Basque Country—within Spain through autonomy or outside Spain, through independence. According to Diego Muro, during the first three decades of the twentieth century the PNV oscillated between these two poles. Some historians have even argued that swinging between autonomy and independence would become a constant feature of the Basque Nationalist Party.39 Internal divisions, however, did not prevent the PNV from developing into a stable and well-functioning political party, which by the 1930s achieved substantial electoral victories. In October 1936, after arduous negotiations with the Spanish Republican government, the Basque nationalists secured the Statute of Autonomy for the Basque Country. The Statute, however, never had a chance to be implemented since three months after its approval the Spanish Civil War broke out and put a long halt to the development of moderate Basque nationalism.

  • 40 Conversi, The Basques, Catalans, and Spain, p. 48.
  • 41 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 220.

16The rise of nationalism in the Basque Country is most frequently interpreted in terms of modernization theory, which locates the origins of nationalism in the uneven diffusion of modernization, the erosion of the traditional “low” cultures and the rise of anonymous, atomized social relations often deplored by dissatisfied and dislocated intelligentsia. Nationalism, therefore, appears as a response to the changing reality of modern, industrial societies. The Basque Country, along with Catalonia, became the scene of the most extensive and rapid industrialization in Spain. According to Conversi, rapid industrialization upset a previously balanced and relatively isolated society, bringing with it the destruction of traditional lifestyles and inflicting a fatal wound for which Basque nationalism claimed to be the cure.40 In a similar vein, Juan Pablo Fusi argued that what triggered the rise of nationalism and enabled it to define local particularism as a separate nationality was the social and economic transformation brought about by rapid industrialization. Nationalism was a response formulated by middle-class Basques to the ongoing transformations that they perceived as threatening to the “Basque personality” and triggering irreversible distortion of the traditional society.41 The perception of threat was accentuated by the influx of migrant workers from other parts of Spain, which triggered rapid marginalization of the Basque culture and language in urban centers and which provided a fertile ground for nationalist agitation.

  • 42 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 44.
  • 43 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, pp. 218–219.
  • 44 Mees, Nationalism, Violence and Democracy, p. 7. For a detailed exploration of the relationship be (...)

17In addition to the industrialization and its after-effects on the Basque society, the abolition of the fueros and the Carlist Wars served as important antecedents for nationalist mobilization within the Basque Country, defining its traditionalist, religious, and conservative nature. Another factor contributing to the strength of regional identities in Spain and the rise of nationalist movements in the Basque Country and Catalonia was the weakness of the Spanish nation-building project and of Spanish nationalism in general. According to Heiberg, Spanish nationalism was a failed nationalism, which was incapable of overriding regional and local loyalties.42 Fusi suggests there was not just a weakness but also a total lack of nationalist ideology among the Spanish of the 19th century. The liberal Spanish state according to Fusi, represented a bureaucratic and administrative rather than a political entity. It lacked the centralizing, nationalist ideology, which later came to be known as españolismo. Furthermore, Fusi argued that the emergence Spanish nationalism in the 20th century was more a reaction against the rise of peripheral nationalisms rather than the other way around.43 Similarly, Ludger Mees has pointed out that, contrary to common nationalist arguments, it was not the aggressive imperialist attitudes of Spanish nationalism but rather its weakness that contributed to the rise and persistence of regional and local particularisms.44 Spanish nationalism, however, mounted an aggressive backlash in the 1930s with the defeat of the Second Republic and the installation of the Franco regime, which further delegitimized the Spanish state in its peripheries. It is under Franco that Basque nationalism, already established as an ideology and a political movement, acquired the additional dimension of a popular tradition, which would be preserved and passed through informal networks from generation to generation.

5.2 Francoism and the Diversification of Basque Nationalism

  • 45 See Herri Batasuna: 20 Años de Lucha por la Libertad (1999) Donostia: HB Edition, p. 20.

18It is difficult to overestimate the impact of Francoism on the development and further radicalization of Basque nationalism. For many Basques—be they supporters or opponents of nationalism—the ghost of Franco continues to hover over their country. Radical nationalists deny the legitimacy of the Spanish state and continue to justify their uncompromising stance with references to Francoism and Spanish authoritarianism. One of the commonly used statements among present-day Basque nationalists is: “Franco has not died in Euskadi” or “Franco has died but Francoism lives on.”45 Nationalists, therefore, deny the significance of Spanish democratization and argue that at least in the Basque Country, nothing has changed and that repressions continue in the best of Francoist traditions. Others, however, believe that it is radical nationalism with ETA in its forefront that represents the genuine incarnation of Francoist authoritarianism as it denies the plurality of Basque society and imposes its political will through the use of force and violence.

  • 46 Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 90.

19The Spanish Civil War entered the Basque nationalist discourse as Spanish aggression against the Basque provinces and an onslaught on the rights of the Basque nation. Rebels led by General Franco saw peripheral nationalisms and their accommodation by the Republican government through statutes of autonomy as a direct threat to the unity of Spain. Basque nationalism was part of the problem of Spain and had to be eradicated by all means if necessary. It did not help that Basque provinces, with the exception of Navarra, had sided with the republican forces and thus had to be punished. The punishment came with the bombing of the ancient Biscayan town of Gernika, ordered by Franco and executed by the German and Italian air forces. More than 90 percent of the town was leveled and over 1600 people died in the first aerial raid in history targeted specifically at civilians. After Gernika, the resistance of Basque provinces was broken and the Civil War entered the Basque collective memory as the war fought against the Basque nation. As Diego Muro pointed out, “the ‘fratricidal’ dimension of the war was removed by the politics of memory which chose to ‘forget’ certain facts and preferred to ‘remember’ the ‘1936 War’ or the ‘Third Carlist War.’”46

  • 47 Ibid., p. 93.

20With the victory of Franco, Spain embarked on aggressively centralizing and homogenizing policies aimed at building Spanish nation-state, which remained an unfinished project plagued with permanent tensions between the integrating and fragmenting tendencies. The repressive regime, which came to be known as El Franquismo and which lasted from 1939 until 1975 tried to weaken traditionally strong regional and peripheral identities in Spain and ruthlessly suppressed any manifestation of peripheral nationalism as a manifestation of separatism. The victors of the Civil War began a campaign of purges against suspected nationalists all over the country and especially in the Basque provinces and Catalonia. In 1937, Franco declared Biscay and Guipúzcoa “traitor provinces” and maintained this designation for more than thirty years. He abolished their traditional tax privileges known as conciertos economicos and banned the use of Euskara from the educational system and the church. Cultural expressions of Basque identity through theatre, folklore and the use of traditional Basque names were also forbidden. In the words of Muro, the repressions throughout the 1940s and the 1950s were so harsh and discouraging that there was hardly any political resistance to challenge Francoism.47 Basque nationalism, however, had not disappeared. Even though public manifestations of nationalism were minimal, it continued to thrive in the private sphere where control of the state was limited.

21By the time the Spanish Civil War broke out, Basque nationalism was a well-established political force with a substantial number of followers and supporters. By trying to eradicate any public display of national sentiments, the military dictatorship led to the so-called “privatization of nationalist politics,” driving such sentiments into the private sphere and turning a political ideology into one of the aspects of Basque identity. In other words, Basque nationalism, in addition to being an ideology and a political movement, acquired a dimension of a popular tradition, which was maintained and transmitted through family and kin. Such an internalization of nationalism contributed not only to its political survival, but also to its continuous perpetuation through the emergence of young, nationalist-minded Basques who would mount a violent, open backlash against the dictatorship.

  • 48 Robert Clark (1979) The Basques: Franco Years and Beyond, Reno: University of Nevada Press, p. 76.
  • 49 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 225.
  • 50 The repression thesis for example cannot explain why nationalism took radical and violent form in (...)

22Many commentators have noted the importance of Francoism in reinvigorating and radicalizing Basque nationalism. Thus according to Robert Clark, “what a decade of propaganda by Sabino Arana de Goiri and a generation of organization by the Basque Nationalist Party had failed to accomplish, the raising of the Basque national consciousness, General Mola and Franco managed to achieve in a matter of months.”48 Similarly Fusi argued that, in terms of finding a solution to the Basque problem, Franco’s policies were highly counterproductive: thirty years of assimilationism, authoritarianism and centralism made the Basque problem resurface with a greater vigor than ever.49 There is much evidence to suggest that repression from the central authorities, instead of obliterating peripheral nationalisms, contributed to their further reinvigoration. It was a complex process, however, with not a single, but several different variables leading to this particular outcome.50

  • 51 See Clark, The Basques: the Franco Years and Beyond, pp. 113–114.

23First, the internalization of nationalism by the Basque people and its development into one of the traditions that needs to be respected and preserved endowed nationalism with a special meaning and unique emotional power. Nationalism driven into the underground became associated with the struggle against dictatorship and for the rights of the Basque nation, thus every true Basque was to be a nationalist. Nationalism, in other words, became a part of the Basque identity. This association between the Basqueness and nationalism would persist for a long time and arguably continue to the present day. This internalization of nationalism was also encouraged by the Basque Nationalist Party in exile. Its leaders believed that quiet, private struggle was more effective and more pragmatic strategy for the preservation of the Basque nation under the dictatorship. The PNV propaganda, disseminated from abroad, aimed specifically at the private realm, advising how to socialize younger generations in the tradition of nationalism and how to preserve the Basque community under the assimilating and centralizing pressures of the state. For example, Robert Clark cites the list of duties of a good Basque nationalist published in the PNV organ Alerdi in 1955, which advised Basques how to behave at home in order to become good nationalists. The list of duties included: teaching and learning more of the Basque language and culture; assisting in the diffusion of nationalist propaganda; subscribing to nationalist publications, and encouraging discussion of national issues among members of the family and trusted friends. In addition, Basques were expected to support and promote various nationalist organizations of which the most important was the PNV.51

24Second, delegitimization of the Spanish state in the eyes of a majority of Basques further strengthened the nationalist cause. Franco’s collective punishment of Basque provinces alienated Basques and strengthened their identification with the opposition to the Spanish state. He did not capitalize on conservative and strongly Catholic feelings among the Basques, which made them reluctant supporters of the Republic. Instead, he attacked Basque clergy and turned them against his regime through repressions and executions. Franco’s nation-building project meant to create a united, cohesive Spanish polity with no regional loyalties and affiliations. Its unintended consequences, however, turned out to be stronger than intended ones. The Spanish nation-state remained weak and discredited, while resistance to its blunt centralizing policies further strengthened national identities on the peripheries.

  • 52 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 209.
  • 53 A similar point is made by Ander Gurruchaga (1990) La Refundación del Nacionalismo Vasco, Bilbao: (...)
  • 54 Juan Diez Medrano (1999) Naciones Divididas, Madrid: CIS, p. 163.

25Third, nationalism in the Basque Country emerged as an unchallenged political force due to its positioning not only for the Basque nation but also against the Spanish dictatorship. In addition, Basque nationalism was well established prior to Franco’s arrival while other political, ideological, and intellectual currents remained relatively weak and underdeveloped. This can partly be explained by the lack of university and academic traditions in the Basque Country, which would have produced an active and diverse intelligentsia such as existed in Catalonia. As Fusi observed, perhaps for the specificities of the Basque language or the lack of universities, the Basque Country has produced great individuals contributing to the development of the Spanish culture but it never produced what can be called the “Basque intelligentsia.”52 The Basque Country had no public university until 1968; most of the cultural activities and debates were taking place in popular societies such as gastronomical societies or sports clubs, which had reinforced the popular and predominantly folkloric character of Basque culture.53 The only institution of higher education was a private Jesuit school—Universidad de Deusto—founded in 1886 by members of the Basque oligarchy and concentrating only on the study of law and economics. According to Juan Diez Medrano, Deusto was too small and elitist to serve as the basis for the development of a Basque intelligentsia and a progressive culture of opposition.54 Nevertheless, it was exactly among the Deusto students that nationalist ideas were forcefully revived and returned to the public domain.

  • 55 Ekin means “action,” “to do,” and “to make” in the Basque language. It was suggested that the idea (...)

26From the mid 1950s the Francoist regime entered a more liberal phase and the Basque Country began to experience a relative reduction in assimilationist pressures. Basque cultural motives were allowed to play out publicly, ikastolas—Basque language schools—opened and a variety of folkloric groups and festivals flourished. At the same time, several students of Deusto University began to organize themselves into a small study-group called Ekin and published a newspaper under the same name.55 The purpose of the group was to enhance knowledge of Basque language and culture and engage in discussions over matters of importance for the Basque Country. Ekin members were young nationalists increasingly disappointed with the passivity of older generations in the face of ongoing “de-basquization” of their country and with the wholesale privatization of nationalist politics. In 1959, they formed a new organization called Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (the Basque Country and Liberty), or ETA, which later developed into one of the most violent terrorist organizations, blending revolutionary socialism with ethnic nationalism.

  • 56 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 111.
  • 57 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p. 242.
  • 58 Clark, The Basque Insurgents, pp. 25–26.

27The birth of ETA signaled the rise of a radical wing in Basque nationalism, which had been previously dominated by the moderate and Christian Democratic PNV. Ideological and strategic differences between the two nationalist groups became further pronounced over the course of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, however, ETA and the PNV disagreed on three main issues. ETA emphasized the territorial unity of all Basque provinces, both Spanish and French, proposing a federation of the seven to be established after the break-up on the one hand of the existing structures of Spain and France. Zaspiak bat (the seven are one) became one of ETA’s slogans and demands for reunification formed an integral part of its program.56 The PNV, on the other hand, had disassociated itself from the nationalist feelings of the French Basques and had maintained its emphasis on the restoration of autonomy exclusively for the Spanish Basque provinces.57 Autonomy was the second point of contention between the two nationalist groups. The PNV hoped to restore the 1936 Statute of Autonomy as soon as Franco had been overthrown, while ETA stood for the creation of a Basque state and wanted this state to come into being regardless of what transpired in Madrid. Finally, ETA advocated making Euskara the sole official language of a new independent Basque Republic, which the PNV considered entirely unrealistic given the limited use of the language even in ethnic Basque areas.58

  • 59 Young nationalists emphasized the pagan roots of the Basque society rather than its Catholic tradi (...)
  • 60 The concept of pueblo trabajador vasco was arguably introduced to combine the struggle against soc (...)
  • 61 The debate rages to this very day on the exact definition of Basqueness. There are a number of com (...)
  • 62 Carr and Fusi, Spain, p. 159.
  • 63 Initially ETA presented itself as a patriotic, democratic, and non-confessional party. Later under (...)

28ETA’s ideology was initially inspired by the writings of Sabino Arana. Like Arana, ETA advocated the separation of the Basque Country from Spain and had adopted strongly anti-Spanish overtones. At the same time, however, ETA departed significantly both from the early Aranism and the later PNV nationalism, introducing important modifications into the theory and praxis of Basque nationalism. First of all, ETA deemphasized the outdated and highly controversial concept of race, exchanging it for a more common notion of ethnicity (etnia), interpreted in cultural-linguistic as opposed to biological-genetic terms. Secondly, ETA proclaimed itself strictly a-confessional and even arguably anti-clerical, departing radically from the early nationalists’ flirtations with the Catholic religion as one of the fundamental pillars of Basque identity.59 Thirdly, ETA introduced the concept of pueblo trabajador vasco (the Basque working people),60 which later became the basis of a more inclusive and constructivist understanding of the Basque nation than the strict primordialism of the early nationalists. It defined as Basque all those who lived and worked in the Basque Country, spoke Euskara and supported the Basque cause.61 Finally, ETA incorporated in its nationalist rhetoric the notions of class struggle and a future socialist state. Arana and his supporters considered socialism, along with liberalism, as anti-Christian and therefore anti-Basque ideologies to be purged from the Basque Country. ETA, however, combined nationalism with the goals of utopian socialism. According to Carr and Fusi, the logic of ETA holds that the oppression of the Basques began with the rise of capitalism, hence “the solution of the national problem necessarily involved the destruction of bourgeois power.”62 By 1966, after numerous ideological polemics and internal confrontations, ETA defined itself as the “Basque socialist movement of national liberation.”63

  • 64 The theory was first presented in the book of Frederico Krutvig, Vasconia, which became the main g (...)
  • 65 ETA continues to rely on the spiral strategy to this very day. It provokes the state through terro (...)

29Unlike moderate Basque nationalists of the PNV, ETA did not believe that self-determination for the Basque people could be achieved through legal means such as participation in established political institutions. Instead, they advocated open confrontation with the regime and adopted the strategy of the urban guerrilla, inspired by the Latin American left. It followed the theory of “spiral action-repression-action,” which envisaged provoking the state into repressive actions in order to ignite popular support.64 As the violence escalated and ordinary people became victims of mass repressions, the popular reaction was expected to become more radical and revolutionary. At the same time, it was essential to conduct a parallel information campaign, disseminating propaganda and ensuring that masses interpreted the events in the “right” way.65

  • 66 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 106.

30ETA’s spiral strategy proved to be successful. Franco responded to ETA’s activities with an indiscriminate policy of repression which was exactly what radical nationalists had hoped for, earning themselves double legitimacy of not only nationalists but also anti-Francoists. States of emergency were declared with the police and military deployed in the streets, creating an impression of foreign occupation. Hundreds of ETA members and suspected collaborators were arrested with stories of torture and mistreatments in the prisons traveling rapidly back to the Basque Country. As Marianne Heiberg observed, “constant road controls, arrests, house searches, and the widespread use of torture became features of Basque life and Basque prisoners filled Spanish jails. For an increasing number of young people, ETA came to represent the means by which to revolt both against Francoism and against the stagnant Basque society devoted to factories, churches, bars, and little else.”66

  • 67 The death sentences were changed to life imprisonment under heavy domestic and international press (...)
  • 68 For the explanation of the resonance attained by Burgos trial see Stanley Payne, Basque Nationalis (...)
  • 69 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 107.

31One of the most daring acts of provocation that earned ETA not only local but also international support and recognition was the 1968 assassination of the police chief of Guipuzcoa, Meliton Manzanas, notorious for his brutal treatment of prisoners. In response, the central government introduced a state of emergency and imprisoned hundreds of suspects. Sixteen of them were condemned to death at the famous trial of Burgos, held in 1970.67 The Burgos trial quickly developed into one of the most serious political crises the Franco regime had experienced for years. It was accompanied by a massive mobilization of liberal and leftist opinion both in Spain and abroad, sealing ETA’s image as the fighter for freedom and democracy.68 In the words of Heiberg, the Burgos trial erased all the remnants of political apathy among the Basques and earned ETA the recognition of both nationalists and nonnationalists as a symbol of popular resistance to the Franco regime.69 ETA, in other words, left no democratic non-nationalist opposition any chance of success. Even those who disapproved of ETA terrorism were forced at least not to condemn it publicly, since being anti-ETA was interpreted as being pro-Franco and vice versa.

  • 70 Carr and Fusi, Spain, p. 160.
  • 71 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 107.

32The success of ETA in terms of reviving nationalist feelings and mobilizing support was both remarkable and unexpected. The Basques in general and nationalists in particular were traditionally conservative, religious, and peaceful, with little tolerance of terrorism and especially left-wing terrorism. There was no tradition of massive left-wing mobilization in the Basque Country—it had a very limited experience of workers’ uprisings and socialist movements as had Catalonia or the neighboring Asturias. Nevertheless, revolutionary ETA soon established itself on the forefront of anti-Francoist, nationalist opposition and gained the unrivalled support of the Basque public. By the 1970s, the Basque Country projected an image of unity and determination in the fight against authoritarianism. As Fusi pointed out, the regime was unable to distinguish political problems from those of public order and responded in ways that benefited ETA the most.70 By unleashing indiscriminate policies of repression, the Francoist regime expanded the support base of the nationalists, crystallizing their image as martyrs and freedom fighters. In the words of Heiberg, “in relation to this regime most people in the Basque Country had become impassioned Basque nationalists.”71

  • 72 Ibid., pp. 94–95.

33Like Sabino Arana and his followers, ETA also developed the narrative of a threat facing the Basque nation not only from the repressive regime in Madrid but also from the ongoing transformations of the Basque society and used it skillfully to mobilize supporters and expand their outreach. In the 1950s and the 60s, the Basque Country was experiencing the so-called second industrial revolution, which was propelled by the traditional heavy industries in Vizcaya and an industrial development of the previously rural provinces of Navarra and especially Alava. The ongoing industrial expansion turned the Basque Country into the highest earning region of Spain, attracting thousands of migrant workers from all over the country in search of jobs and settlement. From 1955 to 1975 the population in the Basque Country expanded by 60 percent, mostly through the influx of Castilian speakers.72 This caused an ever-greater marginalization of the Basque language and culture and contributed to the rising hostility of the local population toward outsiders.

  • 73 Ibid., p. 113; also see Txilladergi (1973) Proyecto de Manifiesto Vasco, Hendaye: Mugalde. See Sul (...)
  • 74 For more on aesthetics of ETA activities see Juan Aranzadi (1994) “Etnicidad y Violencia en el Paí (...)

34Immigration became one of the most contested issues among ETA activists, complicating its efforts to combine the nationalist struggle with the class struggle and highlighting the awkwardness of its attempts to ally ethnic nationalism with revolutionary socialism. On the one hand, immigrants were seen as threatening to the Basque nationalist project; on the other, they represented the main pillar of ETA’s socialist project, since the oppressed working class ETA was trying to appeal to was predominantly of non-Basque origin while the capitalist bourgeoisie was ethnically Basque. ETA members were divided in their approach to the question of migrant workers. Some depicted migrant workers as enemies and agents of Madrid’s conscious plan aimed at the destruction of the Basque nation. As Txilladergi, one of the founders and most popular ETA members, observed, “the Basque people are condemned to disappear, submerged by this enormous mass of 20,000 foreigners a year who objectively are at the service of cultural genocide.”73 Others, however, argued the immigration was a worldwide phenomenon and not a result of Franco’s vicious plot. Some ETA members openly sympathized with poverty-stricken workers who were forced to leave their homes in search of livelihood and employment. Nevertheless the threat to cultural survival was passionately cultivated among nationalist circles, successfully projecting an image of a country in agony. As Juan Aranzadi pointed out, catastrophic and tragic accounts of Euskadi supposedly living through the last days of existence featured extensively in the early publications of ETA. The sense of tragedy was heightened by ritualistic processions at the funerals of ETA “martyrs” that formed part of a popular heroic epic.74

  • 75 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 226.

35In sum, the fear of cultural extinction—heightened by the effects of industrialization and modernization of the Basque Country, the presence of strong pre-existing traditions of nationalism, and the counterproductive policies of the Francoist regime—all contributed to the successful rise of radical nationalism in the 1960s and 70s. In addition, a complete discrediting of españolismo or Spanish nationalism left Basque nationalists unchallenged. The emergence of radical nationalism in the form of ETA has been compared to the emergence of the PNV at the end of the 19th century in terms of its significance and consequences for the Basque society.75 It once again returned nationalism to the public and political sphere and substantially increased its support base due to the direct association of ETA’s nationalism with anti-Francoist struggle. It secured for nationalism a complete monopoly over the entire political spectrum of the region. On the right, there was nationalism of the PNV and on the left, there was nationalism of ETA. In addition, ETA was successful in challenging the authority and legitimacy of the Spanish state by denying it the monopoly over the use of violence and by provoking repressive actions used for further nationalist mobilization.

  • 76 Some commentators have even used the assassination date to mark the “real” beginning of Spain’s tr (...)
  • 77 Graham, Spain, p. 8; Similarly, Jon Juaristi argued that ETA was a fighter for democracy, but rath (...)

36During the early 1970s, ETA’s activities expanded and began to include extortion of “revolutionary taxes” from big enterprises, kidnappings, and increasing attacks on the police and suspected police collaborators. Its most spectacular military success came in 1973 when it assassinated the official heir of the ageing dictator Admiral Carrero Blanco and thus contributed single-handedly to the final demise of Francoism.76 Ironically, through the assassination of Blanco, ETA pushed Spain’s future away from continued authoritarianism towards democracy, which was not entirely in its interests. As Robert Graham observed, “encouraging democracy was the last thing ETA wanted,” since it relied on a repressive state to maintain its legitimacy and popular support.77

5.3 Transition to Democracy and Institutionalization of Nationalism

  • 78 Mees, Nationalism, Violence and Democracy, p.44.
  • 79 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 219; also interview with Pako Ferrandez (Bilbao, March 15, 200 (...)

37After Franco’s death in 1975, Spain evolved into a respectable democratic power, undergoing a swift and effective process of transition and establishing itself as a full member of the international community. The democratization process culminated in Spain’s accession to the European Community, ending the myth of Spain’s “difference” from the rest of Western Europe. With Spain’s transition to democracy, Basque nationalism began to experience what globalists would call an “unprecedented resurgence.” As Ludger Mees observed, the establishment and consolidation of the new democracy in Spain occurred in the background of a dramatic increase Basque nationalist power and influence both in politics and in society. The institutionalization of post-Francoist democracy, according to Mees, “was accompanied by the evolution of a new, historically unprecedented cycle of nationalist power.”78 Similarly, Fusi suggested that Basque nationalism had never before experienced such a complete and unconditional dominance. It is only after 1975 that one can speak of a nationalist hegemony in the Basque Country.79

38The resurgence of Basque nationalism in the post-Franco period consisted of, a) the return of the PNV as the main political force and its consequent transformation into the hegemonic political power; b) a dramatic increase in ETA’s activism including an exponential rise in the number of killings and kidnappings; c) the establishment of radical, left-wing nationalist parties such as Herri Batasuna that supported ETA and provided political cover for its military activities; and d) the institutionalization of nationalism in the governing structures of the Basque Autonomous Community through democratic elections. These developments pose a number of questions to students of nationalist politics: why, for example, the creation of the most extensive autonomous regime under conditions of democracy was not sufficient to eradicate militant nationalism and solve the so-called “Basque problem”; and how can we explain the persistent success of political nationalism in one of the most developed, democratic, self-governing, and now increasingly globalized regions of Europe? This section addresses the above questions by focusing on the local dynamics and internal sources of continuous nationalist appeal in the Basque Country. The next section moves to the discussion of general, exogenous explanations and specifically to the application of globalization hypothesis to the case of Basque nationalism.

  • 80 The figure of King Juan Carlos and his dedication to serve democracy also played an important role (...)

39There were two main challenges facing the protagonists of Spain’s democratic transition. First was the establishment of a new regime that would be acceptable for both sides of the Civil War divide and would reconcile the victors and the victims. Second was the institutionalization and acknowledgment of Spain’s strong regional identities without jeopardizing its territorial and cultural integrity. The difficulty, in other words, was how to build a democratic and decentralized state without undermining its fragile unity. The first problem was solved by the restoration of the monarchy and the rejection of republicanism, which proved to be essential for the consolidation of democracy since the monarchy was the only institution capable of unifying the two sides of the conflict.80 The second issue was addressed through the establishment of a unitary state of autonomous communities—estado de las autonomias—which may seem as a contradiction in terms but which was chosen as a working compromise to reconcile the demands of state unity with those of regional self-government.

  • 81 Lawlor and Rigby, Contemporary Spain, p. 37.

40According to the 1978 Constitution, Spain is divided into seventeen autonomous communities. The degree of self-government varies considerably and so do the bases for claims for autonomy. The Constitution distinguishes between nationalities, which include the Basques, Catalans and Galicians, and regions. In case of the former, where nationalist feelings and distinctive cultural features are quite pronounced, the degree of autonomy is more advanced. In other cases, the creation of an autonomous community was artificial and the degree of self-rule was also limited. Many observers point to the autonomous community of Madrid as an example of an artificial entity, the creation of which served the sole purpose of extending the autonomous process to all of Spain and by doing so reducing the misbalance between the statutes of historic nationalities and the rest of Spain.81

  • 82 Constitución: Título Preliminar, in Lawlor and Rigby, Contemporary Spain, p. 65.
  • 83 Ibid., p. 65.

41Article 2 of the Constitution speaks about the Spanish nation and nationalities that comprise it. Its ambiguous wording is a graphic illustration of the complex and controversial compromise undertaken in the new Spain. It proclaims: “the Constitution is founded in the indissolvable unity of the Spanish nation, the shared and indivisible patria of all Spaniards, and recognizes and guarantees the right of autonomy of all its constituent nationalities and regions and the solidarity between them.”82 The term nation is used only once and only in reference to Spain. The term nacionalidades is also used only in this article and nowhere is it defined properly. For the rest of the constitutional text, the legislators preferred to refer to both regions and nationalities with a more neutral expression: autonomous communities. Article 3 deals with linguistic diversity and proclaims that official state language is Spanish, El Castellano, and all Spaniards have a duty to learn it and the right to use it. Other local languages also have an official status in their respective autonomous communities. The linguistic diversity of Spain, according to the Constitution, is part of Spain’s cultural heritage and will be the object of special respect and protection.83

  • 84 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 125.

42The words of the Constitution were vague enough to leave room for diverse interpretations and to be acceptable for the majority of Spaniards. The referendum on the Constitution was held in December of 1978 and 87.7 percent of participants voted in favor with the notable exception of the Basque Country. The Basques felt that their nationalist aspirations were not taken into account, since some of their demands and amendments were rejected by parliament. The central authorities in Madrid agreed to an amnesty for all Basque political prisoners, recognition of the Basque flag ikurriña, and official status for Euskara. They refused to accept the main demand of the PNV, however, which was the recognition of Euskadi as a nation endowed with “original sovereignty.” According to Heiberg, in the ferocious debates preceding the referendum in the Basque Country, the non-nationalists urged the approval of the Constitution arguing that it was a fairly liberal document that would consolidate Spain’s fragile democracy. Nationalists, on the other hand, maintained that it was a “requiem for Basque historic rights” and insisted on abstention. In the end, 35 percent of Basque voters approved the Constitution, 11 percent voted against, 3 percent left the ballots blank, and 50 percent abstained. The nationalist press added the number of abstentions, blanks and no votes and concluded that 64 percent of the Basque electorate had rejected the Constitution.84

  • 85 This argument is also frequently repeated today. When nationalists want to point to the illegitima (...)
  • 86 Sullivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism, p. 223.

43After the abstention vote in the referendum, the Basque Nationalist Party—PNV—argued that the Basque Country was not bound by the Spanish Constitution and began negotiating over the statute of autonomy.85 The PNV’s rejection of the Constitution and its simultaneous support for negotiating the statute was interpreted as a sign of hypocrisy by both radical nationalists and non-nationalists alike. According to Sullivan, however, the PNV leaders did not perceive the statute as merely a degree of autonomy to be granted by the good will of the sovereign Spanish state, but as an agreement to be negotiated between the representatives of the Basque people and the Spanish government, in the same way in which the incorporation of the Basque Country into Spain had, allegedly, been negotiated with the Spanish crown. In this way, the Basque people would be able to display and maintain a degree of sovereignty and reconcile it with Euskadi’s inclusion into the Spanish state.86

  • 87 For the detailed account of the negotiations regarding the statute, see the memoirs of the Basque (...)

44In July 1979, the prolonged and arduous negotiations between the government and majority of the Basque parties ended with an agreement on the statute of autonomy known as Estatuto de Guernika.87

  • 88 Cited in Sullivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism, p. 235.
  • 89 Medrano, Divided Nations, p. 147.

45The new statute granted more autonomy to the Basque Country than it had ever enjoyed before. As the head of the PNV Xavier Arzalluz commented after the signing of the agreement, the new statute was much better than the one obtained in 1936.88 The functions delegated to the Basque Autonomous Community included the administration of justice, police forces, and all the main aspects of economic, cultural, and educational policies. The Statute provided the renewal of conciertos económicos, the regime of fiscal autonomy, which enabled the Basque government to set and retain most of the taxes collected in the territory of the Basque Autonomous Community. It also authorized the creation of a Basque public television channel, declared the Basque language the official language along with Castilian, and established a Basque government and a democratically elected Basque parliament. As for the region of Navarre, the Statute allowed its future incorporation into the Basque Autonomous Community, should the citizens of Navarre decide so. Finally, both the constitution and the Statute of Guernika included clauses that would allow the subsequent reform of their content if necessary.89

  • 90 For a detailed overview of electoral patterns in the Basque Country see Francisco J. Llera (1994) (...)

46With the approval of the Basque Statute of Autonomy and the subsequent success of nationalist parties in both general and local elections,90 nationalism became well entrenched into the public and political life of the region. Today, it is possible to speak of institutionalization of nationalism in the Basque Country. It holds strong positions both in the government and in opposition; it commands public space and enjoys continued symbolic relevance; most importantly, it claims to be more than a political or cultural movement—it projects itself as an integral part of the Basque national identity.

47Nationalist political parties such as the PNV, Eusko Alkartasuna (a splinter group of the PNV), and Herri Batasuna (currently outlawed, political branch of ETA) have consistently held the majority in the Basque parliament, dominated the local councils and held the post of the president or lehendakari, who so far has always been a PNV member. To the present day, the nationalist dominance of political power in the Basque Country has been unrivalled. In addition, radical nationalist forces often known as Izquierda Abertzale (patriotic left) have been a significant opposition force. Their popularity has been fluctuating greatly but they have remained highly visible and vocal political actors.

  • 91 On the use of nationalist symbols, see also Jon Juaristi (1995) “Símbolos, Cultura y Etnicidad” in (...)
  • 92 For the critical view of nationalists’ symbolic dominance in the Basque Country, see Juaristi, La (...)

48Consequently, nationalist dominance extended not only to the political but also symbolic space of the Basque Country. The party symbols of the PNV such as the flag and anthem were adopted as national symbols of the Basque Autonomous Community, projecting the nationalist image for the entire Basque community.91 This is in line with PNV’s strategy to present itself as a party for the entire Basque community, el partido comunidad, and not simply a regular political party. It enjoys a strong grass roots presence through its numerous headquarters known as batzokis, social clubs, labor unions, women’s organizations, and youth and cultural centers, extending its activities from political into social and cultural spheres and underlying its closeness and identification with the people. As Mario Onaindia observed, the PNV defines itself as el pueblo en marcha (the people on the move), identifying itself with the Basque people and imposing its symbolism on the entire Basque community.92

  • 93 Gurutz Jauregui Bereciartu (1999) “Basque Nationalism at a Crossroads” in Basque Politics and Nati (...)

49On a personal level, the equation of the Basque community with the nationalist community has been expressed in the acceptance of nationalism as part of one’s self-identification. As Gurutz Jauregui pointed out, “Basque nationalism tended to be projected as a collective movement endeavoring to respond to Basqueness as a whole, thus claiming for itself the role of the only legitimate representative of the community. Furthermore, this collective program was planned exclusively for the Basque ethnic community, which was confused with the nationalist community, so that any non-nationalist was considered non-Basque.”93

  • 94 Ibid., p. 47.

50Recently the nationalist/non-nationalist divide within the Basque Country has been growing. There is an increasing polarization between those who identify themselves with the nationalist community and those who do not share nationalist ideals and resent the nationalist monopoly over the identification and representation of Basqueness. This has led Jauregui to conclude that the nationalists have failed to achieve their ideal of building a nationalist nation.94 However, they have succeeded in turning nationalism into an important Basque institution, which has come to form an integral part of Basque identity, culture, politics and symbolism.

51The central pillar of this institution was the PNV, which emerged as the main beneficiary of the nationalist mobilization, inspired and generated by ETA but which ETA was unable to exploit politically. One of the reasons behind the PNV’s success over ETA was the rise and consolidation of the Basque middle class following substantial economic expansion under Franco. The middle class bourgeoisie has come to form the basis of the PNV’s electorate, which preferred a moderate and conservative nationalism to the left-wing radical one. In addition, the PNV reemerged as a modernized and progressive party, which no longer sponsored a traditionalist program. According to Medrano, its program has become bourgeois in both its socioeconomic and political agendas. The “new” PNV has also dropped its racist and chauvinist overtones and shifted its emphasis on the cultural and linguistic aspects of the Basque identity.95 It had also become more secular and defined itself as Christian Democratic, seeking the most ample autonomy possible for the Basque Country. Even though a number of the PNV members traditionally harbored ideas of Basque independence, the official party platform did not mention the right of national self-determination, “reunification of Euskadi” or Basque independence. Today the PNV defines itself as a “Basque party—democratic, plural, aconfessional, and humanist.”96

52Second, the PNV had a uniquely advantageous position of a party simultaneously in the government and in opposition. On the one hand, it is a ruling party, capable of employing the considerable resources of one of the wealthiest regional governments in Spain and promoting its nationalist interests from the position of power. On the other hand, it maintains its position of an oppositional political force vis-à-vis Madrid and can effectively mobilize public in mass rallies, street protests, and demonstrations. Such rallies are often accompanied by emotional, ritualized manifestations of nationalism, providing the PNV with a different, emotive power and appeal that is particularly characteristic of the movements of nationalist opposition. In doing so, the PNV relies on an extensive nationalist infrastructure comprising batzokis, clubs, unions, etc., which distinguish it from other political parties.

53Third, the PNV has managed to instrumentalize ETA in exerting pressure on the central authorities in Madrid and increasing its bargaining power. Radical nationalists did not present a particular challenge to the PNV after the transition to democracy—ETA began to experience an identity crisis. It lost an important part of its legitimacy as an anti-Francoist and anti-authoritarian force and had to redefine itself under new circumstances. ETA and its political supporters were plagued with numerous ideological and tactical confrontations often culminating in splits and rising hostilities between former collaborators. In addition, a leftist and revolutionary ideology failed to appeal to the growing middle class electorate and strengthened the positions of the more moderate PNV. The latter also successfully tapped in the tac-tics and politics of opposition and by doing so further marginalized the role of the radical nationalists in Basque politics. They were weak, divided, and outweighed in terms of political strength and appeal. However, their presence, especially the presence of ETA and its continuous activities, gave the PNV an additional legitimacy and power in the eyes of the central authorities, who would have clearly preferred to deal with the PNV and give in to some of its demands rather than deal with the radicals.

54Finally, the lack of a cohesive, non-nationalist political alternative in the Basque Country sealed the PNV’s hegemony. Due to their associations with the Francoist dictatorship, the right-wing Spanish parties had a very limited support base in the Basque Country and, as a result, the majority of conservative voters chose the PNV, not so much for their nationalist dedication, but rather for the lack of better alternatives. As for the left-wing parties, namely the Socialists and Communists, they themselves appeared convinced of the nationalist hegemony and did not dare to challenge it. On the contrary, many of their efforts were directed at infiltrating the nationalist community and forming alliances with the nationalists instead of concentrating on non-nationalist voters. More importantly, however, there was no local, i.e. Basque, non-nationalist political alternative. Both the left and the right wing parties were españolistas, i.e. Spanish parties operating all over the country through local representations. There was no local, Basque party with a non-nationalist orientation that would be able to challenge the PNV and at the same time, project a strictly Basque identity and claim to represent purely Basque interests.

  • 97 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 127.

55The establishment of the Basque Autonomous Community under nationalist control has resulted in a significant cultural and economic revival of the Basque Country. The situation with the Basque language is a good indicator in this respect. The language, which earlier nationalists lamented as being on the verge of extinction has never enjoyed such good health as it does today. Education in Euskara is highly encouraged both in schools and institutions of higher education. The ability to speak it has become a significant advantage in obtaining employment, especially in the public sector, since all important institutions of the public sector—universities, health organizations, chambers of commerce, cultural bodies, etc.—are under direct nationalist control. In the words of Heiberg, the Basque nationalist monopoly of political power has been used to establish differential access to economic resources such as industrial and cultural subsidies, grants, and jobs. These tend to be reserved for nationalists, especially at times of economic crisis.97

56The challenge for many observers is to explain why the resurgence of nationalism, both in its moderate and violent varieties, took place after the transition to democracy and the establishment of the autonomous regime, which gave the Basques exclusive authority over a whole range of domestic matters and yet proved to be insufficient for resolving tensions between the region and the center. First of all, not all nationalists were satisfied with the Basque autonomy. ETA was clearly unimpressed and denounced the new Statute as merely a measure of decentralization and an obstruction to the cause of Basque independence. ETA never recognized the “reality” of Spanish democratization and considerably intensified its acts of violence after Franco’s death. Similarly, Herri Batasuna, the radical left-wing nationalist party, thought the Statute to be a betrayal of Basque historic rights and denounced the complacency of the PNV.

  • 98 Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 123.

57Secondly, ETA had to prove its continued relevance in the context of democratic transition. It could no longer enjoy the legitimacy of anti-Francoist force and instead had to mobilize its efforts to provoke the Spanish state and expose its “sham” democratization. Between 1975 and 1998, ETA killed 800 people and engaged in numerous acts of violence such as kidnappings, extortions, and intimidations. According to Diego Muro, “by using violence, ETA made its presence visible and forced all political parties to take a stand with regard to nationalist violence.”98 The reports of continued tortures and mistreatments of Basque detainees in Spanish prisons as well as anti-ETA campaign, known as the dirty war conducted by GAL, contributed to the spreading of the ETA thesis that nothing has changed in Spain.

58Third, like in Georgia, the early stage of democratization was marked with political tensions, uncertainties and a dramatic politicization of the nationalist movement. The end of the authoritarian regime created an opening for the expression of accumulated tensions and grievances. In the Basque Country the transition was particularly difficult, characterized by high levels of social mobilization and political violence. In other words, democratization itself created a possibility for an open confrontation between nationalists and the state. The next section takes a more detailed look at how overarching processes such as democratization, modernization, or globalization may influence and contribute to the nationalist revival.

5.4 Contending Approaches: Modernization or Globalization

59This chapter has so far emphasized mainly local dynamics that led to the rise and intensification of political nationalism in the Basque Country. However, nationalism in its varied manifestations can be seen as a particular expression of a generic phenomenon, the origins of which go beyond internal particularities. In this respect, Basque nationalism can be seen as a particular manifestation of the universal response to the phenomenon of modernization. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, modernization theory is the one most frequently evoked in explaining the rise and development of Basque nationalism.

  • 99 Saul Newman (1991) “Does Modernization Breed Ethnic Political Conflict?” in World Politics, 43:3, (...)
  • 100 The origins of this approach go back to Marx and Durkheim. For Marx, the process of modernization (...)
  • 101 See Karl Deutsch (1966) Nationalism and Social Communication,New York: MIT Press.
  • 102 One of the most famous proponents of the conflictual modernization approach was Walker Connor, who (...)

60There are two main variants of modernization theory, one described as the convergence or “melting pot modernization” and another as “conflictual modernization.”99 The first variant was particularly popular up until the 1970s, when scholars such as Karl Deutsch and others argued that with the emergence of “modern” societies and with improvements in communication technologies, ethnic cleavages would be erased and ethnic conflict would subside, encouraging individuals to engage in new forms of socialization.100 According to Deutsch, modernization is characterized by the process through which the ancestral bonds within individuals’ value systems become eroded and individuals open themselves up to new forms of socialization.101 From the 1970s onwards, the so-called “conflictual modernization” approach gained preeminence. Here it was argued that economic expansion and an increase in contacts and communications would in response trigger the rise and intensification of nationalism.102 The “conflictual” approach, therefore, stressed that modernization would reinforce existing ethnic identities while the “melting pot” approach expected modernization to result in the amalgamation, fusion, or merger of identities.

  • 103 Conversi, Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World, p. 9.
  • 104 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p. 250.

61The case of Basque nationalism has often been used in support of the latter approach. Basques were precisely the people most exposed to modernization and industrialization and consequently to the cultural interchange that followed these processes, and yet they have developed one of the strongest nationalist movements in Spain along with Catalans. Thus, according to Conversi, the study of Basque and Catalan nationalisms suggests that “the impact produced by industrialization and modernization was perhaps the most relevant factor in the rise of anti-state nationalism in Spain.”103 Similarly Stanley Payne argued that “in the case of Spain, modernization occurred first and most rapidly in the regions of distinct identity and local culture, so that the process led to disassociation rather than homogenization. Urbanization sharpened cultural tensions rather than merely transforming them, and the formation of political parties tended to reproduce rather than cut across regional differences. In the Basque country…the modernization process has led to a combination of feelings of superiority and exploitation that have undermined the concept of a Spanish nation-state.”104

62While modernization theory may account for the rise of nationalism, it is less convincing in explaining its staying power. Upheavals associated with the transformation of social and economic relations normally have a beginning and an end. If nationalism is a reaction to the effects of modernization, why does it not disappear over time as people adjust to the new realities? It also does not explain why nationalism becomes an ideology of choice for the disenchanted intelligentsia who propagate nationalist ideas and why the masses follow them with such vigor and dedication. It is possible to consider modernization as a cause for the rise of Basque nationalism at the end of the 19th century. It may also be seen as a relevant factor triggering nationalist revival in the 1950s and 60s. However, how can we explain the persistence of nationalism during the transition to democracy and in the subsequent decade?

  • 105 Neil MacFarlane (1997) “Democratization, Nationalism and Regional Security in the Southern Caucasu (...)
  • 106 Jack Snyder (2000) From Voting to Violence, New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
  • 107 Ibid., p. 32.

63Given the continuous strength and current appeal of nationalism in the Basque Country, contemporary theories focusing on democratization and globalization could be relevant. Thus Neil MacFarlane, who developed his arguments in the context of post-communist transition in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, argued that democratization provided the necessary space for the articulation of nationalist ideas and “to some extent fostered an incentive structure in the region conducive to elite manipulation of national myths.”105 His approach focuses more on the relationship between democratization and insecurity associated with the intensification of nationalist confrontations and ethnic conflicts in regions such as the South Caucasus. Jack Snyder on the other hand, made a more direct link between democratization and nationalism and argued that the resurgence of nationalism is characteristic of the early stages of democratization. According to Snyder, prior to democratization there is normally very little nationalism among the public—it is only after the process begins that the elites find it in their interests to employ nationalism in order to justify their rule “in the name of a nation” while remaining unaccountable.106 Under conditions of early democratization or partial democratization, as Snyder argued, elites can often use their control over the levers of government, the economy, and the mass media to promote nationalist ideas. In the words of Snyder, “Nationalist conflicts arise as a by-product of elite efforts to persuade the people to accept divisive nationalist ideas.”107 In the case of the Basque Country, the nationalist elite did invest much effort in trying to increase the nationalization of the region and to promote nationalist goals and discourses. However, it is impossible to argue that the cause of Basque nationalism has been democratization and that it did not exist before the beginning of the transition process. Nationalism, as this chapter has demonstrated, was a considerable force in the Basque Country for many years prior to democratization. It would be more accurate to argue along the lines of MacFarlane that democratization enabled the pre-existing feelings of nationalism to be expressed openly in popular votes and allowed it to be translated into political power. Rather than being a direct cause, democratization appears a permissive condition for nationalism to intensify and receive the political recognition that nationalist leaders have been aspiring for prior to democratization. The question, however, with regard to the Basque case, is why the successful completion of the democratization process, the establishment of the autonomous arrangement and general normalization of political life, has not contributed to the decline of political nationalism.

  • 108 Guibernau, Nations Without States, p. 19.

64One answer is provided by the globalization approach, which argues that contemporary forms of nationalism are causally linked to the on going processes of globalization. Thus, according to Montserrat Guibernau, the globalization of the economy and social relations seems to have contributed to the intensification of regional forms of nationalism or sub-state nationalisms in Europe and elsewhere.108 It follows, there fore, that it is specifically the context of globalization that explains the persistence and recent revitalization of Basque nationalism.

  • 109 On the same subject, see also the Introduction.

65The globalization approach shares a number of similarities with the modernization theory of nationalism. First of all, both represent broad, overarching explanations of nationalism as a generic phenomenon, the causes of which are located in socioeconomic changes and structural transformations associated with either modernization or globalization. Secondly, both modernization and globalization theories underwent similar changes in terms of identifying the relationship between cause and effect and making relevant predictions. For example, modernization theory went from the “convergence” or “melting pot” approach— which predicted the weakening of ethnonational ties and the eventual amalgamation of different ethnic groups into a modern nation—to the “conflictual” approach predicting further revitalization of ethnonational bonds and eventual fragmentation along ethnic lines. Similarly, the globalization approach to nationalism changed from post-nationalist interpretations predicting the demise of ethnonational politics and resolution of ethnic conflicts by market driven forces of globalization to “nationalizing” interpretations of globalization that predict the revival of nationalism and ethnonational fragmentation in response to the integrative and homogenizing influences of globalization.109

  • 110 See Chapter Two.

66Finally, modernization and globalization theories identify similar factors as causes of nationalism. These include economic expansion, rising immigration, improved communications, urbanization, secularization, increasing travel and exposure to new ideas and values, the demise of traditional societies, and a rising sense of anomie. For example, Daniele Conversi described the link between modernization and nationalism in terms strikingly similar to those that link globalization and nationalism.110 He argued that, “by dismantling local boundaries, economic development and market forces provoke ‘atavistic urges’ leading to conflict, hatred and wars. Contrary to the vision of Kant and other philosophers, the global spread of trade and commerce did not lead the world on a highway to universal peace. The century of trade expansion and unmitigated Western supremacy has also been the century of total war, genocide and unequalled miseries, often under the double banner of rapid modernization and the defense of homeland.

  • 111 Conversi, Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World, p. 9. Similar arguments have been made by Me (...)

67Thus there is a direct link between modernization, animosity and nationalism.”111

68In many ways, the globalization approach to nationalism is the reworking of the modernization theory with one difference: it has a greater contemporary relevance and applicability. In that sense, the globalization hypothesis may be useful in explaining contemporary Basque nationalism. At first sight, the Basque case seems to support the globalization hypothesis, validating its main assumptions and predictions. For example, the increasing globalization of Spain in general and the Basque region in particular, which followed the end of the Spanish autarchy and was characterized by economic expansion, increasing openness to foreign capital and influences, liberalization and incorporation in international organizations, was accompanied by the dramatic upsurge of radical Basque nationalism. It acquired increasingly anti-immigrant, anti-statist and lately anti-globalist overtones and was often expressed in acts of violence. With the consolidation of the democratic regime and the increasing globalization of the Basque region, militant nationalism has not abated, confirming the predictions of globalization theorists that nationalism intensifies in response to globalization. The next section turns to a more detailed discussion of globalization and nationalism and explores what kind of relationships have been established between these two arguably opposing forces.

5.5 ETA vs. Guggenheim: Globalization and contemporary Basque nationalism

  • 112 See Benjamin Barber (1996) Jihad vs. McWorld, New York: Ballentine Books.
  • 113 The clash between ETA and Guggenheim took place almost physically at the inauguration of the famou (...)
  • 114 See McNeill, “McGuggenisation?”
  • 115 See Euskobarometro at http://www.ehu.es.

69To borrow Benjamin Barber’s view of the world as being torn between the forces of Jihad (militant particularism) and McWorld (globalization)112 the Basque Country appears to be torn by the similar processes with its own expressive symbols such as ETA and Guggenheim.113 On the one hand, the Basque region is becoming increasingly globalized with the development of new communications systems, the spread of technology and increasing engagement in global cultural and economic processes, as epitomized by the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. In the words of Donald McNeill, the Basque Country is experiencing a rapid process of McGuggenisation.114 On the other hand, it remains one of the most consistently nationalist regions, which in the past decade or so has become characterized by the highest incidence of nationalist-motivated violence of any equally sized territory in Europe. The election results show that Basques vote predominantly for the nationalist parties115 while the militant organization ETA has continued its activities in the era of democracy and globalization. How has the increasing globalization of the Basque Country influenced the strength and vitality of Basque nationalism, and what kind of relationship has been established between forces of nationalism and globalization?

70The brief historic overview of Basque nationalism shows that it has traditionally been a diverse and multifaceted phenomenon, characterized by internal divisions and different currents. Most observers of contemporary Basque politics agree that one of its most distinctive features is the striking polarization not only between nationalists and non-nationalists but also between moderates and radicals within the nationalist movement. The PNV and its splinter party Eusko Askatasuna (EA) are largely regarded as moderate nationalist forces, often described as el nacionalismo democratico, i.e. democratic nationalism. Radical nationalism is associated with ETA and its supporter political parties and groupings that describe themselves as abertzales (patriots). Among the most prominent political parties representing abertzale movement has been currently outlawed Herri Batasuna (HB) later known as simply Batasuna (Unity). Radical nationalism has maintained a socialist agenda and continues to demand the creation of an independent, socialist Basque state. It positions itself as anti-systemic movement, boycotting any participation in the existing political system which it considers illegitimate. The PNV on the other hand, is a traditional Christian Democratic party with a long history of parliamentary participation and governance. Given these differences, one would expect that the two manifestations of Basque nationalism develop different approaches and attitudes to globalization.

71One of the shortcomings of the globalization approach to nationalism is that it does not distinguish between different types of nationalism and subsumes them all under the umbrella of the so-called new nationalism of the global era. Both the Georgian and the Basque cases have demonstrated that nationalism is not uniform and as a result, it is divided in its understanding of a national community and culture, in its approaches to state building, and in its attitudes to globalization. As in the case of ethnoreligious nationalism in contemporary Georgia, the radical Basque nationalism comes closest to the new nationalism of the globalization hypothesis, sharing with it many similarities but at the same time displaying some differences.

  • 116 Cynthia Irvin (1999) Militant Nationalism: Between Movement and Party in Ireland and the Basque Co (...)

72The Abertzale movement in the Basque Country is radical in its objectives, extremist in its tactics, uncompromising in its anti-statist approach, and relies on politically motivated violence. HB, for instance, consistently refused to condemn ETA violence and denounce its terrorist attacks. Instead, it supported the strategy of urban guerrilla warfare pursued by ETA and argued that the Basque Country was at war with the Spanish state. The objectives of radical Basque nationalism could only be achieved with the fragmentation of this alien and hostile state. By relying on ETA’s political and symbolic significance, parties such as HB project the image of a “community in struggle” with imprisoned ETA members as martyrs and freedom fighters. The street violence, car explosions, shotguns and arrests all point to the undeniable reality that the Basque people are oppressed and are engaged in a legitimate struggle for liberation. As Cynthia Irvin observed, the efficacy of this violent struggle “lies as much, if not more, in its symbolic attack on the legitimacy of the state as in its physical attacks on the agents of that state.”116

  • 117 Conversi, The Basques, the Catalans and Spain, p. 151.

73In addition, parties that comprise the patriotic left, abertzale izquierda, prefer anti-systemic struggle to engagement with the established political system. HB was one party that participated in elections and won considerable support (around 16 percent) in the 1980s. However, it remained divided on whether to use this participation for merely symbolic purposes and take up seats without engaging in the parliamentary process or to boycott the elections and by doing so deny legitimacy to institutions they considered as illegitimate. Following heated internal debates, the HB chose to take part in the elections, attracting a considerable amount of not only radical Basque votes but also protest votes from all over Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona. According to Conversi, HB has attracted the anti-state feelings of a few relevant sectors, especially students, fringe intellectuals, and the unemployed. In these cases, the vote for HB was not so much in favor of Basque separatism as against “the system.”117

  • 118 Cited in Irvin, Militant Nationalism, p. 3.
  • 119 See Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 172.

74In a symbolic gesture, HB decided to put forward its candidate for the position of lehendakari, the president of the autonomous community, nominating a 21-year-old ETA suspect Juan Carlos Yoldi, who at that time was imprisoned for alleged terrorist activities. With this move, HB was trying to expose the Spanish “sham democracy,” drawing the public’s attention to the existence of political prisoners in the country, while pursuing its dual strategy of armed struggle and electoral mobilization. As one of the HB activists commented on Yoldi’s nomination, “we elected him as a political prisoner to illustrate the contradiction which reveals that in 1987 there were political prisoners in Euskadi. In our country there are people who believe in the right to take up arms because they see no other means possible to advance their political objectives.”118 In 2002, the Spanish conservative government argued that the anti-systemic nature of Batasuna was too problematic and it should no longer be allowed to take part in normal political processes. The party would eventually be outlawed on the grounds that it was an integral part of ETA and its activities went beyond the normative framework of a democratic political system.119

75Another characteristic feature of Batasuna (and of the abertzale movement in general) is its anti-globalist stance. Globalization is perceived as a capitalist and imperialist project aimed at the subjugation of nations through both international institutions such as the EU and NATO, and through multinational companies. It is therefore unacceptable from both leftist and nationalist positions. Batasuna has declared that it is opposed to the EU in its current form and sees it as a club of states rather than that of peoples and nations. It also campaigned actively against Spain’s entry into NATO arguing that such a move would further strengthen the Spanish state at the expense of Basque interests. NATO, in HB’s campaign, was portrayed as an organization serving the needs of capitalist imperialism and intervening in other countries to ensure the subjugation of peoples. In addition, Batasuna has actively participated in anti-globalization campaigns, siding itself with feminist, environmentalist, anti-nuclear, and other tendencies critical of the mainstream globalization.

76Radical Basque nationalism, therefore, resembles the so-called new nationalisms of the global era due to its anti-systemic, anti-statist, radical, and uncompromising nature and its clear positioning in opposition to globalization. At the same time, however, it displays a number of peculiarities that set it apart from other nationalist movements. First of all, its attitude towards the state is ambivalent. Like post-communist nationalisms, radical Basque nationalism is both for and against the state. It is engaged in an open struggle with the Spanish and French states and enjoys support of protest voters disenchanted with the existing political system. At the same time, however, it does not develop any alternative to the state or the system of nation-states. It advocates the creation of Basque nation-state, encompassing both French and Spanish Basque provinces and sets Basque independence as its major goal.

  • 120 David Brown (2000) Contemporary Nationalism: Civic, Ethnocultural and Multicultural Politics, Lond (...)

77Secondly, it is neither exclusively ethnocentric nor conservative, as new nationalisms appear to be. Given the leftist political agenda, radical nationalists have tried to appeal to migrant workers of non-Basque background and combine their nationalism with principles of socialist internationalism. The concept of the Basque Working People, pueblo trabajador vasco, is predominantly civic and territorial, opening membership in the Basque nation, or pueblo, to all those who live and work in the Basque Country and support the Basque cause. According to David Brown, “contemporary Basque nationalism is thus able to offer a home to those of both civic and ethnocultural orientations, such that there is increasing overlap between those who identify Basqueness primarily in terms of pride and language, and those who identify it primarily in territorial terms.”120

  • 121 Conversi, The Basques, the Catalans and Spain, p. 150.
  • 122 Yet another slogan of HB, which describes its involvement in the European politics, is “HB, altavo (...)

78In addition, the anti-globalist position of Basque radicals appears to be more in line with their socialist rather than nationalist agenda. They are not of conservative, religious, or traditionalist political background resisting influences of globalization and seeking cultural isolation in defense of traditional ways of life. On the contrary, radical nationalists such as Batasuna have been developing an extensive network of allies both at home and abroad from very diverse ideological and cultural backgrounds. In the words of Conversi, “Marxists, environmentalists, gay activists, neo-traditionalists, anti-nuclearists, cultural revivalists, punks, pacifists, feminists…peasants and every other imaginable sector from both urban and rural milieu are well represented in what is probably one of the most unorthodox, unconventional and sui generis parties in Europe.”121 Batasuna has also adopted an internationalist stance on many issues, trying to demonstrate that nationalist liberation movements are not strictly parochial and only concerned with their narrow interests. After having secured a seat in the European parliament, it portrayed itself as the “voice of those who have no voice in Europe.”122

  • 123 Irvin, Militant Nationalism, p. 134.

79Finally, electoral success as well as popular support for radical nationalism has been fluctuating greatly in the Basque Country. The reasons underlying such fluctuations point mainly to domestic processes rather than those linked to globalization. In the 1980s, radical nationalism represented by HB had been a significant political force gaining around 14 to 18 percent of votes. This success was mainly attributed to popular discontent and frustration caused by both economic restructuring, high levels of unemployment, political transition, and the slow pace with which the central government was transferring powers to the Basque government according to the provisions of the Statute.123 The situation, however, changed dramatically in the course of the 1990s as the Basque economy recovered and grew throughout the decade by an average of 3–4 percent per year, reaching a 6 percent growth rate in 1998. The devolution of powers from central to regional authorities was more or less finalized and the Spanish democratization project had earned itself a degree of recognition and trust. With the economic stabilization and consolidation of Spanish democracy, HB began to lose its supporters and enter the period of political decline.

  • 124 Mees, Nationalism, Violence and Democracy, p. 94.
  • 125 “A Murder Too Far,” The Economist, July 19, 1997, pp. 38–40.

80In addition, due to its close association with ETA, radical nationalism in general and HB in particular had to pay the political price for the popular discontent generated by activities of ETA. Throughout the 1990s, anti-ETA organizations began to appear and become increasingly vocal, representing a shift in the Basque public opinion against ETA. In 1979, seventeen percent of the Basque population described ETA activists as freedom fighters and patriots, ten years later this figure had dropped to 5 percent, while those who considered ETA members as lunatics or criminals increased from 13 to 32 percent.124 Popular mobilization against ETA increased throughout the 1990s, as ETA committed a number of highly unpopular terrorist acts such as lengthy kidnapping of the prison official Jose Ortega Lara and the assassination of the young town councilor of Ermua, Miguel Angel Blanco. The latter killing brought the entire Basque Country to a standstill in largescale acts of protest. According to The Economist, in the days following the assassination of Blanco almost six million Spaniards spontaneously demonstrated against ETA.125

  • 126 See an official website of the Basque Government, available at http://www.euskadi.net.
  • 127 The three airports are: Bilbao International, San Sebastian and Victoria Air Cargo. The constructi (...)
  • 128 The two ports are Bilbao and Pasajes with an annual volume of 30 million tons.
  • 129 According to the Department of Statistics, exports in 1995 amounted to 6,272 and imports to 5,775; (...)
  • 130 In 1995, Basque investments abroad amounted to 250.2 thousand euro, and in 2002 it was 1,309.4 tho (...)

81The decline of radical nationalism coincided with the growing globalization of the Basque region, a process that has been presided over and encouraged by moderate Basque nationalism in the form of the ruling PNV. The Basque nationalist government has developed an approach to globalization that can be described as “strategic engagement.” It has both supported and promoted increasing globalization of the region and tried to carve out its own place for the Basque Country in the global cultural and economic network. According to the official discourse, the objective of the government is to maintain identity while forming part of the global village.126 In this view, nationalist objectives are not incompatible with the processes of globalization. On the contrary, they can be achieved through globalization. Economically the Basque Country can benefit significantly from engaging in global economic relations, attracting foreign investors and developing its own global outreach for local companies and banks. The arrangement provided by the Basque Statute of Autonomy allows the Basque government to set its own taxes, develop an investment friendly economic climate and retain most of the revenues within the region. In its efforts to further globalize the region, the Basque Country has invested much in upgrading its communications infrastructure and now prides itself on being an axis of European communication with its three airports127 and two seaports.128 In addition to the traditional industrial sector, the Basque Country has developed strong financial services and considerably increased the volume of foreign trade.129 Basque companies have also expanded their activities abroad, especially into the financial and manufacturing sectors of Europe and Latin America.130 With the increase in revenues and financial resources, the nationalist government has been able to spend more on support of Basque culture and language and on marketing the Basque Country as an attractive tourist destination.

  • 131 Ibid., pp. 21–22.
  • 132 The metro was designed by Norman Foster, and its impeccable, futuristic stations are popularly ref (...)

82Beginning in 1999, the Basque Country has enjoyed a dramatic increase in a number of tourists from both Spain and abroad, which followed the successful rehabilitation plan of the city of Bilbao entitled “Bilbao as a Global City.” The plan represents one of the most striking examples of the nationalist government’s globalizing policies, which transformed “a sleepy seaport”—described as a monument to the death of industrial revolution—into a thriving global metropolis.131 Under the new plan, the River Nervión and its surroundings have been thoroughly cleaned and the river has been criss-crossed by the attractive bridges of Rontegi, Euskalduna and Zubizuri, and a few others are currently under construction; the old part of town—Casco Viejo—has been renovated and the new tram and metro systems developed.132 In 1999 the Eukalduna Concert and Conference Hall was inaugurated, preceded by the spectacular Guggenheim Museum.

  • 133 The Guggenheim project has also been very controversial, since many argued in the Basque Country t (...)
  • 134 Cited in McNeill, “McGuggenisation” p. 483.

83The museum represented the most daring and impressive part of the “Global City” plan. Designed by Frank Gehry, it opened in 1997 and since then has served as an architectural landmark of the new Bilbao. It was a highly costly and risky enterprise,133 which represented not only a bold cultural policy for the regional government, but also a move laden with political, economic, and symbolic significance. In addition to the cash flow and economic benefits that came to Bilbao with the rising number of tourists attracted to the new “miracle of Bilbao,” the museum enabled the Basque government to exercise its economic sovereignty and conduct independent negotiations on the transnational level. Critics, such as Zulaika, argued that negotiations showed the existing power disparity between the local authorities and global actors such as the Guggenheim Foundation headed by Thomas Krens. Perhaps the competence and art of selling in a global capitalist environment was on the side of Krens, however, the mere fact that the Basque government was undertaking such a bold investment independently of the Spanish authorities and locating itself at the very peak of global business was highly significant. As the director of the Bilbao museum and a member of the PNV Juan Vidarte pointed out, shortly after the museum’s opening, “with this unique space and this important collection, we can be playing the role in the periphery that we could not do otherwise.”134

  • 135 Joseba Zulaika (2000) “Miracle in Bilbao: Basques in the Casino of Globalism,” W. Douglass, C. Urz (...)
  • 136 McNeill, “McGuggenisation,” p. 491.

84The global projects of the Basque government, such as the Bilbao Guggenheim, had a double effect. On the one hand, it put the Basque Country on the global cultural map and brought it economic benefits, and on the other hand, it strengthened the position of the Basque regional authorities in the political space of Spain. The Basque Country took advantage of the opportunities created by globalization and used it in a power play with the Spanish state. The international success of the Guggenheim underscored the irrelevance of Madrid and thus became the main underlying rationale of the nationalist government’s globalizing strategy. As Zulaika observed, “the real lesson of the Guggenheim is that nothing is more crucially political than culture in the contemporary world.”135 Similarly, McNeil has concluded that “while globalization is often constructed as a colonizing process, it could thus also be conceptualized as a strategic move—a cultural realpolitik.”136

  • 137 President Juan José Ibarretxe has described the Basque Country as one of Kenichi Ohmae’s global re (...)
  • 138 Andre Lacours (2002) “When Regions Go Abroad: Globalization, Nationalism and Federalism” available (...)

85Nationalist leaders see the Basque Country as one of the global regions defined by Kenichi Ohmae or regional states that have greater economic weight and relevance in the global economy than some nation-states.137 They have used globalization to secure global presence for the Basque Country in economic and cultural spheres and received the kind of international recognition that hitherto was limited to nation-states. In this sense, one of the main goals of any nationalist movement, which is recognition from others of one’s nationhood and distinct identity, has arguably been achieved without separate statehood. To underscore its position of an international actor, the regional government of the Basque Country has also been actively engaged in socalled paradiplomatic activities such as regional and international conferences, bilateral and multilateral agreements with states and global economic actors, and opening of representations in multilateral institutions. Since foreign policy is traditionally seen as a reserved domain of the state, paradiplomacy in the context of domestic politics is a region’s challenge to the center and a statement about power. In the words of Andre Lacours, it represents one of the manifestations of globalization, “namely the complexification of world politics through the multiplication and differentiation of actors.”138

  • 139 Xavier Arzallur (1992) cited in Patzo Unzueta (1994) “El Alma de Sabino Arana” in Aranzadi, Juaris (...)
  • 140 See Joseba Arregi (2000) La Nación Vasca Posible: El Nacionalismo Democrático en la Sociedad Vasca(...)

86The above discussion illustrates that moderate Basque nationalism has chosen to engage with globalization in pursuit of its nationalist objectives. The relationship that has been established between globalization and Basque nationalism shows that the two are not mutually exclusive and opposing tendencies but can be mutually compatible and complementary. The alliance between regional nationalism and globalization may have two possible consequences for nation-states. On the one hand, it may boost secessionist tendencies of regions by allowing them to establish international networks and enhance legitimacy of their project among foreign actors. In this case, sub-state nationalisms would undermine already existing nation-states through opportunities created by globalization and contribute to the rise of intrastate conflict and fragmentation. On the other hand, nations without states may receive adequate international recognition, become increasingly satisfied with their political and economic position and abandon secessionist ambitions that would entail costly confrontation with their respective state. Globalization in this context both allows greater international recognition of sub-state nations and diminishes the importance of independent statehood in receiving such recognition. A longtime leader of the PNV once remarked whether in the context of globalization it still made sense to continue fighting for independent statehood or whether the Basque nationalist movement should find a different path for achieving greater self-determination. “We are not renouncing anything,” he added, “but simply understanding the new reality, in which states decay and frontiers disappear. In this context, I am asking: What is to be done? Does loyalty to the nationalist ideals mean creating a new state only to begin its immediate deconstruction?”139 Similarly, one of the outspoken PNV members Joseba Arregi argued that under the changing political circumstances expressed in the development of the European Union and the processes of globalization, nationalism has to redefine itself, and construct the nation without necessarily associating it with independent statehood. The new goal, in the words of Arregi, is “to construct the Basque nation without claiming a state of its own.”140 In this context, globalization may contribute to the taming of longstanding nationalist conflicts that have evolved around the issues of self-determination and political recognition traditionally expressed in terms of sovereign statehood.

5.6 Conclusion

87Nationalism in the Basque Country has been a strong political, cultural, and social force since the end of the 19th century. Its rise and resurgence in different phases described in this chapter has been associated with processes of industrialization as well as influences of the Francoist dictatorship. Consequently, the Basque nationalism has often been explained in terms of structural theories such as modernization and its after-effects or structural violence and social discontent. It could be argued that the rise of the industrial society had been instrumental in the development and spread of nationalist thinking among the Basque people in the early 20th century. In the period of 1939–1975, the repressive regime created a legitimate cause for frustration and social discontent, which found its expression through the political violence of ETA. These theories, however, do not explain the resilience and persistence of nationalism both in its moderate and radical form in the Basque Country today.

88Globalization is another structural approach to nationalism that is used to explain specifically contemporary manifestations of nationalism around the world. This chapter demonstrated that nationalism in the case of Basques has deep roots and a long history. In the course of a hundred years, nationalism developed into a powerful ideology, political force, cultural tradition, and an institution dominating both the government and opposition of the Basque Country. Globalization in this account did not figure as a major causal factor for either the rise or persistence of contemporary Basque nationalism. Nevertheless, globalization did emerge as an influence on both the character and practice of contemporary Basque nationalism, but not in ways described by the globalization hypothesis.

89Nationalism in the Basque Country cannot be described as the socalled new nationalism of the global era. There are different manifestations of nationalism in the Basque Country today, reflecting the traditional division between moderates and radicals. It is the radical nationalism of the abertzale movement that resembles more the so-called new nationalisms than does moderate nationalism of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). Radicals have developed a clear anti-globalist discourse, depicting globalization as a mere manifestation of capitalist imperialism. They maintain an uncompromising political stance, choosing any systemic and violent methods for reaching their political goals. Their nationalism denies legitimacy to the Spanish state and seeks its fragmentation, and their appeal is based on popular discontent generated by a wide range of economic, political, and social issues.

90The main features of the radical nationalist agenda, however, emerged already in the 1950s and have not changed considerably ever since. There are new and growing references to “the menace of globalization” but globalization seems to be more a threat to their socialist rather than nationalist agenda. Radical Basque nationalists remain committed not only to the cause of independence and nationalism, but also to socialism, a combination that makes them awkward allies of anti-globalization movements worldwide. Most importantly, however, radical nationalism is not the dominant political force in the Basque Country. To the contrary, its popularity and electoral support have been declining rather than increasing alongside the increasing globalization of the Basque region. It is the nationalism of the PNV which has consistently dominated the Basque political scene and which has very little in common with radical, new nationalisms of the globalization hypothesis.

91The PNV is one of the oldest and well-established political parties in Europe, which has been successfully modernized to adapt to the new realities of democratic and increasingly globalized Spain. Its nationalism is characterized by the mixture of ethnocultural and civic/territorial elements, it maintains the belief in a peaceful and systemic political struggle, its position towards independence is more ambiguous than clear, and its political orientation is moderately right-wing. The PNV can be described as a hegemonic political force in the Basque Country for a number of endogenous reasons highlighted in this chapter and its relation with globalization is hardly hostile or confrontational.

92The PNV saw globalization as an opportunity rather than a threat. Nationalist leaders of the Basque Country have consistently engaged with forces of globalization and by doing so furthered their nationalist interests and ambitions both in terms of economic development and center–periphery power relations. Hegemonic Basque nationalism, therefore, emerged as a significant globalizing force in contradiction to the basic premise of the globalization hypothesis that contemporary nationalism is a manifestation of resistance and opposition to globalization. As this chapter demonstrated, in the Basque Country globalization and hegemonic nationalism appear as complementary rather than contradictory tendencies.

Notes

1 Cited in Georg Sorensen (2004) The Transformation of the State: Beyond the Myth of Retreat, New York: Palgrave, p. 93.

2 Ibid., p. 94.

3 Mary Kaldor and Diego Muro (2003) “Religious and Nationalist Militant Groups” in Global Civil Society, Oxford University Press, pp. 182–3. This article describes BNLM (Basque National Liberation Movement, which includes the terrorist group ETA) as one of those militant nationalist groups that have been reinvigorated by the processes of globalization.

4 Sorensen, The Transformation of the State, p. 94.

5 Montserrat Guibernau also makes similar arguments and suggests that for “Catalans, Scots, Welsh and Basque people, among many other European national minorities, the prospect of the Europe of the Regions stands as a pioneering political structure within which they could enjoy a substantial degree of autonomy.” See Montserrat Guibernau (1999) Nations Without States, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 24.

6 Cited in Sorenson, The Transformation of the State, p. 94.

7 Euskadi is the name devised for the Basque Country by the founder of Basque nationalism Sabino Arana, which came to signify the homeland of the Basques and which is used both in Spanish and the Basque language. Some prefer the name Euskal Herria, increasingly popular in the contemporary Basque Country, which appears to be slowly replacing Euskadi in everyday use. However, in its current usage Euskal Herria signifies the land of all Basques including Spanish and French provinces and like most names in the Basque country is heavily politicized. When Basques use one name over the other, or one type of spelling over another it is usually interpreted as a sign of their political affiliation normally for or against nationalism. Euskal Herria is clearly the preferred name of nationalists due to its connotations of the Basque unity. Since this study deals only with the Basque provinces belonging to the Spanish state and would like to avoid unintended use of value laden terms, it will use the English names such as the Basque Country (which is a direct translation from Spanish El País Vasco) or the Basque provinces. On the “politics of naming” in the Basque Country see Mario Onaindía (2003) Guía para Orientarse en el Laberinto Vasco, Madrid: Temas de Hoy.

8 Other scholars have used a different and more detailed periodization for the history of Basque nationalism. However, this study does not intend to pro-vide a thorough historic overview of Basque nationalism, which has already been done on numerous occasions, and thus follows a more general approach in identifying the major trends in the development of Basque nationalism. For an alternative and more detailed periodization, see Jose Luis Granja (1985) “The Basque Nationalist Community during the Second Republic” in Basque Politics: A Case Study in Ethnic Nationalism.

9 Navarra enjoys a separate autonomy and makes the Basque Country divided into two autonomous communities: the Statutory Community of Navarra and the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country encompassing three other provinces. On the special place of Navarra within the Basque Country and especially within the Basque nationalist movement, see Stanley Payne (1985) “Navarra and the Basque Nationalism” in Basque Politics: A Case Study in Ethnic Nationalism, William Douglas (ed.), Reno: University of Nevada Press.

10 In nationalist discourse, Euskara figures as an essential element of the Basque identity: “language is the core of our identity and an instrument of communication and cultural interchange as well as that of social integration…Progressive spread of Euskara in terms of its knowledge and in terms of its use in everyday life has been a constant objective of Basque nationalism throughout its history.” Gara Annual 2000, p. 111.

11 Some scholars have connected Euskara to Caucasian languages, namely Georgian and Circassian that are also non-Indo-European and exhibit similarities in the vocabulary and grammatical structure suggesting the possible existence of a Basque-Caucasian proto-language. However, such a language is impossible to reconstruct and the above theory remains unsubstantiated. On a more detailed discussion of the origins, structure, and linguistic explorations of Euskara, see Jeremy MacClancy (1996) “Bilingualism and Multinationalism in the Basque Country” in Nationalism and the Nation in the Iberian Peninsula, Clare Mar-Molinero and Angel Smith (eds.), Oxford: Berg.

12 See the documentary by Julio Medem, La Pelota Vasca (2003).

13 Joseba Zulaika (1988) Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament, Reno: University of Nevada Press, p. 7; also cited in Daniele Conversi (1997) The Basques, the Catalans and Spain, London: Hurst & Company, p. 182.

14 The title of Arana’s book can be translated as Biscay for Its Independence. It represents the first nationalist text that inaugurated the emergence of nationalism in one of the Basque provinces—Vizcaya. The book describes four battles from the medieval Vizcayan history and interprets them as evidence for the Vizcayan independence, which as Stanley Payne observed, “had never existed at any organized sense at any point in Vizcayan history.” (Stanley Payne (1975) Basque Nationalism, Reno: University of Nevada Press, p. 69). The scholarly and historic merit of the book is considered to be quite limited. However, it proved to have had important political and social repercussions. For a more detailed exposition of Arana’s text see Payne, Basque Nationalism and Javier Corcuera (2001) La Patria de los Vascos, Madrid: Taurus.

15 Diego Muro (2008) Ethnicity and Violence: The Case of Radical Basque Nationalism, London: Routledge, p. 46.

16 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p. 40.

17 M. K. Flynn (2000) Ideology, Mobilization and the Nation, London: Macmillan, p. 98.

18 For the discussion of proto-nationalism see Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalisms since 1780.

19 Fueros were local customs and laws according to which different Spanish provinces governed themselves. With the increasing centralization of the Spanish state, fueros were abolished all over Spain with the exception of the Basque provinces, which maintained their fueros longer than other parts of Spain. Fueros in the Basque Country, apart from being a collection of local laws and customs, also represented special economic and political immunities underwritten by the kings of Castile in exchange for loyalty to the monarchy. For a detailed discussion of fueros and their constitutive principles, see Marianne Heiberg (1989) The Making of the Basque Nation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

20 Some nationalist interpreters of Basque history characterized the Carlist Wars as wars of independence and national liberation fought by the Basques against Spain. This view, however, is largely refuted in the Basque historiography. See for example, Juan Pablo Fusi (1984) El País Vasco: Pluralismo y Nacionalidid, Madrid: Alianza Editorial.

21 Juan Diez Medrano (1995) Divided Nations: Class, Politics, and Nationalism in the Basque Country and Catalonia, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 68–9.

22 As Arturo Campion stated in 1906: “We proudly called ourselves fueristas in riskier times than today’s. However, given that there is a new term, which is more graphic, more intense, and thoroughly expressive…I declare, without renouncing my past, without subscribing to new ideas, without adopting new attitudes, and instead, in agreement with my own modest history, that I renounce the old label and from now on will call myself a nationalist.” Cited in Medrano, Divided Nations, p. 75.

23 Corcuera, La Patria de los Vascos, p.15.

24 For example, the Basque Nationalist Party demanded the reintroduction of fueros during the constitutional debates in 1978, which was seen by non nationalist parties as an absurd and unconstructive way of dealing with modern problems. See John Sullivan (1988) ETA and Basque Nationalism, London: Routledge, pp. 210.

25 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p.42.

26 Ibid., pp. 42–43.

27 Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 51.

28 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 49.

29 Toward the end of his life Arana modified his secessionist position and a accepted a more compromising españolista stance, seeking autonomy within the Spanish state rather than independence. There is an ongoing debate in the Basque historiography on whether Arana’s change of position was determined by tactical considerations or whether it reflected his genuine conviction. For different interpretations, see Corcuera, La Patria de los Vascos.

30 Arana’s political program specified that “foreigners would be allowed to establish themselves in Bizkaya under the tutelage of their respective consuls; but they could not be naturalized. As for the Spaniards, the Juntas Generales would decide whether to expel them, forbidding them to enter… to erase more easily any trace that their domination could have left in the character and the traditions of the people of Bizkaya.” Cited in Medrano, Divided Nations, p. 79. Arana also emphasized that he would prefer to see Euskara disappear rather than see it spoken by the Spaniards (whom he called maketos). The duty of the Basques, he wrote, “is not only to learn Euskara but to prevent others from learning it. The language difference is the great way to preserve ourselves from the Spanish contamination.” Ander Gurruchaga (1985) El Código Nacionalista Vasco, Barcelona: Anthropos, p. 114.

31 The idea of a separate “Basque race” was based on several biological features particularly characteristics of the Basques such as the frequency of a certain type of blood or the shape of the scalp. There is, however, no scientific support for the concept of the “Basque race” as it was employed by the early nationalists. For the most recent discussion of Arana’s racialism see William Douglas (2002) “Sabino’s Sin: Racism and the Founding of Basque Nationalism” in Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World, Daniele Conversi (ed.), London: Routledge.

32 For the similar point see Ludger Mees (2003) Nationalism, Violence and Democracy, New York: Palgrave, p. 13.

33 Conversi, The Basques, the Catalans, and Spain, p. 61.

34 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p.72.

35 Ibid., p. 73.

36 Miguel de Unamuno “Porque se Emborracha el Vasco?” cited in Patxo Unzueta (1988) Los Nietos de la IRA: Nacionalismo y Violencia en el País Vasco, Madrid: El País/Aguilar, p. 19.

37 See Miroslav Hroch (1985) Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

38 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 77.

39 Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 69.

40 Conversi, The Basques, Catalans, and Spain, p. 48.

41 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 220.

42 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 44.

43 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, pp. 218–219.

44 Mees, Nationalism, Violence and Democracy, p. 7. For a detailed exploration of the relationship between the specificities of early state-building processes in Spain and the rise of peripheral nationalist movements, see Juan Linz (1973) “Early State-Building and Late Peripheral Nationalism Against the State: the Case of Spain” in Building States and Nations (Vol. 2) S. N. Eisenstadt and Stein Rokkan (eds.), London: SAGE.

45 See Herri Batasuna: 20 Años de Lucha por la Libertad (1999) Donostia: HB Edition, p. 20.

46 Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 90.

47 Ibid., p. 93.

48 Robert Clark (1979) The Basques: Franco Years and Beyond, Reno: University of Nevada Press, p. 76.

49 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 225.

50 The repression thesis for example cannot explain why nationalism took radical and violent form in the Basque Country and did not do so in Cat alonia, where the nationalist tradition was even stronger and the repression by the regime equally brutal. For a detailed exploration of this question see Juan Diez Medrano, Divided Nations; Also see Guibernau, Nations with out States, p. 135.

51 See Clark, The Basques: the Franco Years and Beyond, pp. 113–114.

52 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 209.

53 A similar point is made by Ander Gurruchaga (1990) La Refundación del Nacionalismo Vasco, Bilbao: Servicio Editorial Universidad del País Vas co, p. 130.

54 Juan Diez Medrano (1999) Naciones Divididas, Madrid: CIS, p. 163.

55 Ekin means “action,” “to do,” and “to make” in the Basque language. It was suggested that the idea of the name came from Editorial Ekin, the name of a Buenos Aires publishing company that has specialized in Basque nationalist books for many years. See Clark, The Basque Insurgents, p. 25.

56 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 111.

57 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p. 242.

58 Clark, The Basque Insurgents, pp. 25–26.

59 Young nationalists emphasized the pagan roots of the Basque society rather than its Catholic traditions. They claimed that Basque egalitarianism, the main moral virtue, was formed in pagan times and remained an intrinsic part of the Basque mode of behavior and socialization. See Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 111.

60 The concept of pueblo trabajador vasco was arguably introduced to combine the struggle against social and national oppression and to present a more inclusive image of ETA’s nationalism. The concept has been used extensively but as John Sullivan argues, never clearly defined. It could have three interpretations: a) all the Basque people minus the oligarchy; b) the ethnically Basque population plus those who choose to incorporate into it by learning the language and joining the struggle for national liberation; c) all of the working class irrespective of its ethnic or geographic origins. See Sullivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism, p. 62.

61 The debate rages to this very day on the exact definition of Basqueness. There are a number of competing understandings of what constitutes a Basque. Family names and other primordial features are increasingly downplayed and more emphasis is put on residence and most importantly support of nationalism by people of non-Basque origin. It appears that today, willingness to associate oneself with Basque nationalism is a sufficient reason to be welcomed as a member of the Basque community. In an interview with Txomin Fernandez (Bilbao, Feb. 10, 2003); Heiberg also points out an increasingly political definition of Basqueness: “To be Basque is a political option.” The PNV defines as Basque “all those who have integrated into our pueblo and conform with its identity.” The radical nationalists consider as Basque “those who live and work in Euskadi and make the national problem their own.” Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 119.

62 Carr and Fusi, Spain, p. 159.

63 Initially ETA presented itself as a patriotic, democratic, and non-confessional party. Later under the influence of the wars of liberation in Cuba, Algeria and Vietnam, it adopted a revolutionary Marxist ideology. In 1962 it called itself a “revolutionary movement of national liberation,” proclaiming revolutionary war as its tactic. In 1966 it became “Basque Socialist Movement of National Liberation.” There were also numerous internal divisions within ETA, such as between the militaries and politico-militaries called ETA-mili and ETA poli-milis. For a detailed discussion of the organization and its internal structures, see Clark, The Basque Insurgents; Sullivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism; Unzueta, Los Nietos de la IRA, Jose Manuel Mata Lopez (1993) El Nacionalismo Vasco Radical, Bilbao: UPV.

64 The theory was first presented in the book of Frederico Krutvig, Vasconia, which became the main guide of ETA’s activities. Krutvig was a self-taught Basque speaker of Spanish-German origin, who argued that the Basque Country was a colony and therefore, Basque nationalism belonged to the revolutionary nationalisms of the Third World. Using Algeria as a model, Krutvig devised a plan for the revolutionary war of Basque liberation. See Federico Krutvig (1979) Vasconia: Estudio Dialéctico de una Nacionalidad, Bilbao: Ediciones Vascas.

65 ETA continues to rely on the spiral strategy to this very day. It provokes the state through terrorist acts and then presents police measures as anti-Basque repressions that justify their further actions.

66 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 106.

67 The death sentences were changed to life imprisonment under heavy domestic and international pressure. In 1977 all the condemned prisoners tried in Burgos were released. The fact that Franco bowed to outside pressure was interpreted as the sign of regime change. According to Robert Graham, in the forties and fifties Franco was immune to such pressures and practised far greater repressions against his opponents. See Robert Graham (1984) Spain: Change of a Nation, London: Michael Joseph, p. 11.

68 For the explanation of the resonance attained by Burgos trial see Stanley Payne, Basque Nationalism, p. 247; also for detailed review of the developments around the Burgos trial, see Sullivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism and Clark, The Basque Insurgents.

69 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 107.

70 Carr and Fusi, Spain, p. 160.

71 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 107.

72 Ibid., pp. 94–95.

73 Ibid., p. 113; also see Txilladergi (1973) Proyecto de Manifiesto Vasco, Hendaye: Mugalde. See Sulllivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism, pp. 38–39; Also see the collection of ETA publications Documentos Y (1979) San Sebastian: Hordago, vols. 1–18.

74 For more on aesthetics of ETA activities see Juan Aranzadi (1994) “Etnicidad y Violencia en el País Vasco” in Auto de Terminación, Juan Aranzadi, Jon Juaristi y Patxo Unzueta (eds.), Madrid: El País/Aguilar.

75 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 226.

76 Some commentators have even used the assassination date to mark the “real” beginning of Spain’s transition to democracy. See Contemporary Spain (1998) Teresa Lawlor and Mike Rigby (eds.), London: Longman.

77 Graham, Spain, p. 8; Similarly, Jon Juaristi argued that ETA was a fighter for democracy, but rather its main enemy. “Jamás un etarra, ní en tiempos de Franco ní después, tomó las armas para defender la democracia…las tomaron para impedit que llegara; después para destruirla.” Jon Juaristi (2002) La Tribu Atribulada, Madrid: Espasa, p. 156.

78 Mees, Nationalism, Violence and Democracy, p.44.

79 Fusi, Pluralismo y Nacionalidad, p. 219; also interview with Pako Ferrandez (Bilbao, March 15, 2003).

80 The figure of King Juan Carlos and his dedication to serve democracy also played an important role in restoring the legitimacy of the Spanish monarchy. On February 23, 1981, Colonel Antonio Tajero burst into the session of the parliament and held it at gunpoint hoping that the military junta would soon govern Spain and return the country to the “betrayed” legacy of Generalissimo Franco. It is widely agreed that the King played an essential role in rallying the army to save the democracy and refusing, against expectations, to side with the rebels. As Graham described, “When parliament met 48 hours after the coup to renew the session so rudely interrupted, never had the chamber heard such heartfelt shouts of Viva el Rey! King Juan Carlos had won over even the staunchest republicans.” See Graham, Spain, p. 3.

81 Lawlor and Rigby, Contemporary Spain, p. 37.

82 Constitución: Título Preliminar, in Lawlor and Rigby, Contemporary Spain, p. 65.

83 Ibid., p. 65.

84 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 125.

85 This argument is also frequently repeated today. When nationalists want to point to the illegitimacy of the Spanish state, they refer to the Constitution and argue that the Basque Country rejected the Constitution and thus, is not bound by the rules and laws of the Spanish state. Every year Spain celebrates the Day of the Constitution, and every year the Basque nationalists reiterate their position and underline the awkwardness of these celebrations in the region that has not given its official support.

86 Sullivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism, p. 223.

87 For the detailed account of the negotiations regarding the statute, see the memoirs of the Basque president lehendakari Carlos Garaikoetxea (2002) Euskadi: La Transición Inacabada, Barcelona: Editorial Planeta.

88 Cited in Sullivan, ETA and Basque Nationalism, p. 235.

89 Medrano, Divided Nations, p. 147.

90 For a detailed overview of electoral patterns in the Basque Country see Francisco J. Llera (1994) Los Vascos y la Política, Bilbao: UPV.

91 On the use of nationalist symbols, see also Jon Juaristi (1995) “Símbolos, Cultura y Etnicidad” in 100 Años del Nacionalismo, Bilbao: El Correo.

92 For the critical view of nationalists’ symbolic dominance in the Basque Country, see Juaristi, La Tribu Atribulada.

93 Gurutz Jauregui Bereciartu (1999) “Basque Nationalism at a Crossroads” in Basque Politics and Nationalism on the Eve of the Millennium, William Douglass, Carmelo Urza, Linda White and Joseba Zulaika (eds.), Reno: University of Nevada Press, p. 46.

94 Ibid., p. 47.

95 Medrano, Divided Nations, p. 144.

96 See the official website: http://www.eaj-pnv.com

97 Heiberg, The Making of the Basque Nation, p. 127.

98 Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 123.

99 Saul Newman (1991) “Does Modernization Breed Ethnic Political Conflict?” in World Politics, 43:3, pp. 451–478.

100 The origins of this approach go back to Marx and Durkheim. For Marx, the process of modernization was expected to culminate in the victory of the proletariat, which would eradicate ethnic nationalism as yet another manifestation of class domination. See Karl Marx, German Ideology; For Durkheim, modernization would lead to the transition from “mechanical” to “organic” forms of solidarity within society, which would no longer value “affinity of blood, attachment to the same soil, community of habits,” etc. Ethnic identification would, therefore, lose its utility and slowly disappear. See Emile Durkheim (1933) The Division of Labor in Society, New York: Free Press. For more detailed discussion of Marx’s and Durkheim’s influence on the “convergence” variant of modernization theory of nationalism see Newman, as above.

101 See Karl Deutsch (1966) Nationalism and Social Communication,New York: MIT Press.

102 One of the most famous proponents of the conflictual modernization approach was Walker Connor, who argued that modernization, instead of undermining ethnic divisions, reinvigorates them by bringing together previously isolated groups into greater contact and competition. See Walker Connor (1973) “The Politics of Ethnonationalism” in Journal of International Affairs, 27:1, pp. 1–22; Also for the discussion of Connor’s work and its contribution to the study of nationalism, see Conversi, Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World.

103 Conversi, Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World, p. 9.

104 Payne, Basque Nationalism, p. 250.

105 Neil MacFarlane (1997) “Democratization, Nationalism and Regional Security in the Southern Caucasus,” Government and Opposition, p. 401.

106 Jack Snyder (2000) From Voting to Violence, New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

107 Ibid., p. 32.

108 Guibernau, Nations Without States, p. 19.

109 On the same subject, see also the Introduction.

110 See Chapter Two.

111 Conversi, Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World, p. 9. Similar arguments have been made by Mees, who also described modernization and its effects on the Basque society in terms very similar to the way globalization is seen to affect nations today and generate nationalist responses. See Mees, Nationalism and Violence, p. 24.

112 See Benjamin Barber (1996) Jihad vs. McWorld, New York: Ballentine Books.

113 The clash between ETA and Guggenheim took place almost physically at the inauguration of the famous museum, when the celebrations were over shadowed by the discovery of ETA’s attempted attack on the ceremony. One member of the local police was shot dead as he grew suspicious of municipal gardeners who were hiding grenades within the flowerpots. (Donald McNeill (2000) “McGuggenisation? National Identity and Globalization in the Basque Country,” Political Geography, 19, p. 489).

114 See McNeill, “McGuggenisation?”

115 See Euskobarometro at http://www.ehu.es.

116 Cynthia Irvin (1999) Militant Nationalism: Between Movement and Party in Ireland and the Basque Country, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, p. 38.

117 Conversi, The Basques, the Catalans and Spain, p. 151.

118 Cited in Irvin, Militant Nationalism, p. 3.

119 See Muro, Ethnicity and Violence, p. 172.

120 David Brown (2000) Contemporary Nationalism: Civic, Ethnocultural and Multicultural Politics, London: Routledge, p. 87.

121 Conversi, The Basques, the Catalans and Spain, p. 150.

122 Yet another slogan of HB, which describes its involvement in the European politics, is “HB, altavoz de los sin voz en Europa” (HB, the loudspeaker for those without a voice in Europe).

123 Irvin, Militant Nationalism, p. 134.

124 Mees, Nationalism, Violence and Democracy, p. 94.

125 “A Murder Too Far,” The Economist, July 19, 1997, pp. 38–40.

126 See an official website of the Basque Government, available at http://www.euskadi.net.

127 The three airports are: Bilbao International, San Sebastian and Victoria Air Cargo. The construction of Bilbao International was a 42 million euro project, designed by popular Spanish architect Calatrava and representing a fine piece of postmodern architecture.

128 The two ports are Bilbao and Pasajes with an annual volume of 30 million tons.

129 According to the Department of Statistics, exports in 1995 amounted to 6,272 and imports to 5,775; in 2002, exports reached 13,153 and imports 10,302 (million euro). In 2003, exports amounted to 29.28 % of the GDP, which is more than France (27 %), Italy (26 %), and Spain (28 %). Available at http://www.euskadi.net.

130 In 1995, Basque investments abroad amounted to 250.2 thousand euro, and in 2002 it was 1,309.4 thousand euro. Available at http://www.euskadi.net.

131 Ibid., pp. 21–22.

132 The metro was designed by Norman Foster, and its impeccable, futuristic stations are popularly referred to as fosteritas.

133 The Guggenheim project has also been very controversial, since many argued in the Basque Country that all these millions of dollars would have been better spent on the promotion of Basque art and culture. For a detailed and critical account of the negotiations between the Basque government and the director of the Guggenheim Foundation, Thomas Krens, see Joseba Zulaika (1997) Crónica de una Seducción, Madrid: Nerea.

134 Cited in McNeill, “McGuggenisation” p. 483.

135 Joseba Zulaika (2000) “Miracle in Bilbao: Basques in the Casino of Globalism,” W. Douglass, C. Urza, L. White and J. Zulaika (eds.), Basque Cultural Studies, Reno: University of Nevada Press, p. 273.

136 McNeill, “McGuggenisation,” p. 491.

137 President Juan José Ibarretxe has described the Basque Country as one of Kenichi Ohmae’s global regions or regional states. See Ibarretxe, “Euskadi in a Globalized World,” lecture given at the London School of Economics, November 20, 2002. Available at http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/globalDimensions/ lectures/.

138 Andre Lacours (2002) “When Regions Go Abroad: Globalization, Nationalism and Federalism” available at www.iigr.ca/conferences/archive/pdfs1/lecours. pdf, p. 1.

139 Xavier Arzallur (1992) cited in Patzo Unzueta (1994) “El Alma de Sabino Arana” in Aranzadi, Juaristi y Unzueta (eds.), Auto de Terminacion, p. 166.

140 See Joseba Arregi (2000) La Nación Vasca Posible: El Nacionalismo Democrático en la Sociedad Vasca, Barcelona: Critica, pp. 151–155.

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