Decentralisation at a crossroads: Spain, Catalonia and the territorial crisis
Anderson, P. 2020. Decentralisation at a crossroads: Spain, Catalonia and the territorial crisis . Ethnopolitics.
The constitutional quagmire between the Catalan government and the Spanish state has dominated debate in academic, political and public spheres for several years. This article examines the evolution of this territorial crisis, drawing on interview data with parliamentarians in the Catalan Parliament. The analysis illuminates a number of limitations with the extant territorial model, including the lack of recognition of Spain’s plurinational status, the centralising tendency of the central state, the absence of shared rule and the prominent role of the Constitutional Court in arbitrating territorial disputes. Further, the article sketches some potential scenarios for the future development of relations between the Catalan and Spanish governments, ranging from recentralisation to reformulation, state disintegration to continued stalemate. While talk of using autonomy as a conflict resolution mechanism was largely absent from the initial debates during Spain’s transition, the article concludes that the time has come for Spanish political elites to rethink this approach, not least if they seek to keep the state together.
|Keywords||Catalan independence; Catalonia; Spain; Territorial politics; Decentralisation|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis Online|
|Online||20 Jul 2020|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||02 Jul 2020|
|Accepted||01 Jul 2020|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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