SEPARATISM IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY

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Abstract


The article analyzes the problem of separatism in the Basque Country of Spain, which has a several hundred years’ history. Basques are one of the largest divided peoples of modern Western Europe, which live in two EU states: Spain and France. The authors critically interpret the historical evolution of the struggle for self-determination of the region, emphasizing the ideological and political components of this process. The problem is considered in the context of the separatist sentiment that has permeated Europe in the recent decades. The authors note that at the present moment the struggle of Basque nationalist organizations has lost the extremist component (the terrorist organization ETA has self-dissolved) and acquired a political character. This change can be related to the democratization of the Spanish state in relation to the problems of the Basques, which manifested itself in granting autonomy to the region after the collapse of the fascist dictatorship of F. Franco. At the same time, the change occurred after the tightening of the policy of the United States towards regional nationalists in European countries-satellites of the US, which was expressed in the targeted persecution of the leaders of nationalist movements. The global economic crisis, which hit Spain especially hard, also contributed to the downfall of radical nationalists in the region and their terroristic methods of fighting for self-determination. The article draws parallels between the problem of separatism in the Basque Country and Catalonia, points out the differences and similarities between the two regions, comparatively analyzes the approaches of the leaders of the two provinces to the problems of national autonomy and sovereignty. It examines the future prospects for the Basques’ independence and identifies the potential bifurcation points of this process in regards to the efforts of the Catalan and Basque peoples, respectively. Also, the effect of the referendum in Catalonia and the resultant aggravation of the political situation will be examined in regards to the prospects of Basque independence. The situation is looked at in the general context of European trends and the geopolitical situation in the world, characterized by the rapid slide of nominally pro-American and pro-Russian global blocs into a new Cold War.


About the authors

Anna Alexandrovna Basmanova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: basmanova-aa@rudn.ru
Miklukho-Maklaya str., 6, Moscow, Russian Federation, 117198

Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Ekaterina Vicktorovna Mussaui-Ulianishcheva

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: 1042010207@rudn.ru
Miklukho-Maklaya str., 6, Moscow, Russian Federation, 117198

PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

References

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