Catalonia as an Autonomous Community

  • Susan J. Henders


The post-communist transitions from authoritarian rule in post-Cold War East and Central Europe refocused attention on the sometimes problematic relationship among state, nation(s), and democratization, or what Linz and Stepan (1996: 16) have called “stateness.” This often conf lict-ridden triad has confounded attempts to establish stable democratic regimes in some states with minority territorial communities. Not so for post-Franco Spain. Following the 1975 death of General Francisco Franco, Spanish political elites successfully secured a democratic transition partly by agreeing to give special status to Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Galicia, the so-called historic regions. A region of northeast Spain, Catalonia had active nationalist movements claiming the territory had a distinct identity due to its language (Catalan), economic and social dynamism, and history of autonomous political institutions. A few nationalists demanded independence, but most were moderates calling for the reestablishment of Catalonia’s earlier autonomous political status within a democratic Spain.


European Union Basque Country Autonomous Community Social Solidarity Fiscal Deficit 
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© Susan J. Henders 2010

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  • Susan J. Henders

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