The Catalan Case
Secessionist movements in Europe have become more visible in recent years. From Catalonia and Scotland to Kurdistan and Kosovo, nations have tried to secede from their host states with varying degrees of success. These challenges represent the aspirations of stateless nations to gain independence, and they have value. But they also represent challenges to political order both within states and across the international system. In normative terms, this is contest between the right of stateless nations to self-determination and the right of states to maintain their territorial integrity.
Violence has been historically used to resolve territorial disputes but in recent decades there has been a noticeable shift to peaceful means, possibly because its effectiveness. The dynamics of secession (and counter-secession) have been radically transformed and a wide range of experts in think tanks and academia are now examining the dyadic relationship at the local, national, and international levels. Regrettably, much less attention has been devoted to examining the interactions between the domestic and international level and how theseaffect the development, mobilization, and strategies practiced by contemporary secessionist movements.
This workshop will examine the ways in which the strategies of secession and counter-secession have been shaped by international politics. The participants will be invited to answer the following research questions. How does domestic support interact with the international context? What are the strategies that secessionist movements adopt when seeking independence, and how do they vary? How do secessionist leaders gain legitimacy in the eyes of their local, national, and international audiences, and does the success at one level compromise success at the other? How do changes in international norms and great power politics influence the strategies and success rates of independence efforts? How do regional organizations like the European Union affect secessionist outcomes?
To answer all these questions based on specific case studies, CIDOB has decided to organize two activities: first, the conference “Nations and States in Europe: The Catalan Case” that will take place on October 5th at CCCB and, second, an international seminar on the topic “Secession and counter-secession: An International Relations Perspective” on October 6th at CIDOB. Both events will gather world-renowned experts and will analyse country case studies in a comparative perspective as well as establishing transnational networks of knowledge and dialogue in this respective area.
Xavier Arbós, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Barcelona (UB)
Mercè Barceló, Professor of Constitutional Law, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
Ferran Requejo, Professor of Political Science, Pompeu Fabra University (UPF)
Antoni Segura,President, CIDOB
Pere Vilanova, Professor of Political Science, University of Barcelona (UB); and Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB
Vicenç Villatoro, Director, CCCB