Comparing Stateless Nations: Insights from Wales and the Basque Country
This chapter compares the preceding two empirical chapters. It highlights key differences alongside many commonalities of thinking, particularly concerning fundamental understandings of processes and features of national identities and their nature and importance to everyday and political life. It argues that, across both countries, the essential features of Basqueness and Welshness are broadly the same, with differences emerging in terms of coherence of response, the added complication of Britain in the Welsh case and the greater Basque political emphasis. In most other respects, the two cases share a remarkable number of characteristics, not least in rejecting any connection between national identity and the need to participate politically. While each case presents its own unique features, there is a basis common to both countries around understandings of national identities and their ability to be framed and politicised that permits effective and enlightening comparison. While the expectation, based on comprehensive analysis of the existing literature on these cases, may be that the two would show a great degree of difference, the evidence suggests rather the two cases share many similarities, underlining the need to conduct empirical research in order to test, and potentially disprove, any expectations.
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