The Federal Option and Constitutional Management of Diversity in Spain

  • Xavier Arbós Marín


In this work, I propose to share some ideas regarding the federal development of our political system. I fear they will not augur well for federalists: I do not think our territorial system will evolve towards a federal model—quite the contrary. As far as it does evolve, I believe it will incline more towards homogeneity than diversity. These are the initial impressions that I will later seek to verify and that may orient this work. However, confirming these subjective impressions is not the primary aim of this article. The fundamental idea is that the relationship between federalism and diversity is based more on interest than inevitable attraction. I will explain this subsequently in the introductory section, but it may also prove useful in the general discussion. Although diversity has fitted in very little and indeed badly with constitutionalism, I believe that a federation without federalism is not necessarily the solution to Spain’s territorial problems. Neither is it the solution in the version of federalism promoted by significant sectors of doctrine. Perhaps the constitutional formula of the so-called Autonomous State, due precisely to the peculiarities that distinguish it from the canonical federal state, is more suited to accommodating diversity. I will deal with this in the following section. I will now refer to the ideas regarding federalism present in discussions concerning the Autonomous State. I have the impression that if, in the birth of the Autonomous State, there are political demands based on diversity, in a large part of doctrinal federalism re-centralisation is justified and the irrelevance of diversity is postulated. I finish not with a conclusion as such but rather with some final thoughts. The Spanish territorial model does not enable us to reach definite conclusions regarding the issue under study since it lacks the necessary stability. Such a conclusion might prove feasible if the model were enshrined in the Constitution, which would enable it to attain the maximum possible legal safety.


Federal State Basque Country Legal Basis Balearic Island Autonomous Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultat de Dret.Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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