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Department of Politics, University of Surrey
School of Politics, University of Surrey, GU2 7XH Guildford
In October, Catalonia voted for independence from Spain in an unofficial and violence-ridden referendum. Since then Spain has descended into a deep political crisis.
The Department of Politics and the Centre for Research on the European Matrix (CRonEM) at the University of Surrey welcome Dr Paul Kennedy, Lecturer in Spanish and European Studies at the University of Bath and expert on Spanish politics. Dr Kennedy will explain the politics behind the growing demands for Catalonian independence against the background that Catalonia is one of the wealthiest of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities and is already enjoying a level of self-rule which is among the highest in Europe. Dr Kennedy will analyse how a combination of the effects of the global financial crisis, which has hit Spain particularly badly, Madrid’s rejection of an updated Autonomy Statute which described Catalonia as a ‘nation’, and the formation of an unstable coalition based on centre-right and anti-system components have all fed into the current crisis. He will also discuss how a reform of the current Autonomy Statute, or even of Spain’s Constitution, may offer a means out of the current impasse.
Also in attendance will be Dr Emanuele Massetti, Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the University of Surrey. As an expert on ethnonational politics and secessionism in Europe, Dr Massetti will act as a discussant and provide a comparative perspective on secessionist movements in contemporary Europe.