The Spanish Plurinational Labyrinth. Practical Reasons for Criticising the Nationalist Bias of Others While Ignoring One’s Own Nationalist Position
Moreno del Río, Carmelo
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Genealogy 4(1) : (2020) // Article ID 7
To analyse the Spanish national question requires considering the relationship between the idea of the nation and the phenomenon of nationalism on one side, and the question of political plurality on the other. The approval of the Constitutional text 40 years ago was achieved thanks to a delicate semantic balancing act concerning the concept of nation, whose interpretation remains open. Academic studies of public opinion, such as the famous Linz-Moreno Question—also known as Moreno Question—that measures the possible mixture of Spanish subjective national identity, are equally the object of wide controversy. The extent to which political plurinationality is a suitable concept for defining the country is not clear because, amongst other reasons, the political consequences that might derive from adopting the concept are unknown. This article sets out the thesis that Spain is a plurinational labyrinth since there is neither consensus nor are there discursive strategies that might help in forming an image of the country in national terms. The paradox of this labyrinth is that, since the approval of the Constitution in 1978, the political actors have accepted that nationality in Spain is insoluble without taking the plurinational idea into account. But, at the same time, it is not easy to assume such plurinationality in practical terms because the political cost to those actors that openly defend national plurality is very high. For this reason, political discourses in Spain on the national question offer a highly ambiguous scenario, where the actors seek windows of opportunity and are reluctant to take risks in order to solve this puzzle situation. The aim of this paper is to analyse which indicators are most efficient for testing how the different actors position themselves facing the phenomenon of the Spanish plurinational labyrinth. The clearest examples are what we refer to here as the concepts of (i) intersubjective national identity and (ii) plurinational governments.
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