Basque nationalists have been seeking political recognition and cultural autonomy within France and Spain for decades. Basque nationalist organizations, such as the ETA, have long sought outright independence through separatist violence, which has often been condemned as “terrorism” by the Spanish government.
Recent political shifts in Spain and France have led to changes in Basque nationalism, however. The ETA separatists have pledged to end violence and several Basque nationalist parties now have political representation within Spain, leading to the possible end of civil conflict in the Basque region.
Meanwhile, mounting debts, economic weakness, and the Euro crisis have produced significant political changes within Spain. The Socialist François Hollande has just won the presidential election in France, promising changes in French politics and society.
Zoe Bray, who is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, has written a detailed analysis of the changing political landscape of Basque nationalism for World Politics Review. Zoe is a friend and colleague of mine from the European University Institute in Florence, so I am pleased to read her most recent work.
Northern Illinois University students working on French and European history will be interested in Zoe Bray’s article.