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Asymmetry and (Dis)accommodation of Minority Nations in a Complex Constitutional Framework: Catalonia, the Basque Country and other Autonomous Regions within the Spanish Kingdom



The Spanish 1978 Constitution establishes a complex state. In constitutional terms, it is not defined as a federal state, but rather as a unitary state with significant scope for political decentralization. This complex constitutional arrangement is in response to both internal and cultural features, and to a search for greater administrative efficiency. The pluri-national character of the state is the subject of fierce debate in Spain, while the way in which certain minority nations (Catalonia and the Basque Country) are accommodated is a permanent source of friction. This paper seeks to provide an overview of this complex political/constitutional situation by analysing the historical, political and legal developments that have occurred during the last 40 years, with a focus on the last developments of the Catalan crisis. Although Spain is markedly asymmetric in political and identity terms, this asymmetry is not adequately reflected in Constitutional Law. In addition, the ongoing tension between unionism and separatism in some regions poses significant challenges to the Spanish constitutional system as a whole, in particular, through the pro-independence process in the autonomous region of Catalonia.
... But these additional official languages only spoken in specific region have participated to generate centrifugal forces from Madrid, capital and centre of Spain and to develop other regional political identities and new ideologies (e.g.: separatism). Moreover, the asymmetry in the socioeconomic situation between regions has favoured residents to claim for more autonomy and the cross-fertilization of a self-identification process and geographical echo-chambers (Dent 2017;Ruiz Vieytez 2019;Zaripova and Zakirov 2019). ...
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The impact of the social media (SM) has been seen on the one hand as the cause of large exacerbation of negative messages, responsible for massively harmful societal phenomenon against democracies. On the other hand, recent studies have begun to look at how these online channels were able to provide a new impulse in human communication. The novelty of our work resides on analysing several axes of polarizations related to different societal topics. We believe our approach to reflect a more complex society, differing from the recent literature, which has considered a unique left–right dichotomic cleavage. Our methodology consists of extracting topics from the priority themes of the SM debate, using BERT language processing techniques and TF-IDF model. Our results show situation of social media interactions in a multidimensional space does exist. We highlight how social media behaviours, polarization and cross-fertilization differ as upon concrete topics. We argue therefore the ‘mega-identity partisanship’ which differentiate US online users in two different spaces cannot be extended for the rest of countries taking as first evidence the case of Spain. Further research should extend our conclusions for a possible generalization.
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