Second Workshop on the Dynamics of Nationalist Evolution

‘Sovereignty Formulas between Autonomy and Independence: Towards a Reconfiguration of Europe?’

Foresight Centre, University of Liverpool, 14-15 May 2015

IMG_1590This second ESRC-funded workshop on the ‘Dynamics of Nationalist Evolution’ went beyond the original Catalan and Basque focus of the project to include and compare other European experiences. Held at the University of Liverpool, it brought together some 20 academic experts and practitioners. Several of the papers examined or compared the proposals presented by nationalist parties aimed at attaining degrees of political sovereignty or fiscal decentralization for the territories in which their national communities are based. They analysed the drivers behind such proposals and/or considered whether there was scope for accommodating further enhancements of autonomy and home rule within member state and EU contexts.

The programme looked predominantly at the Scottish, Basque, Catalan and Italian cases but also included focuses on Belgium, constitutional changes and policy adjustments within EU member-states and the global and European contexts in which sovereignty formulas have been put forward (paper titles below).

The key points made in the workshop papers are being summarised in our new series of Evolving Nationalism Research Briefs, soon to be launched and made available through this site. Watch this space!


Peter Lynch (University of Stirling) ‘The Scottish National Party’s sovereignty formula for the 2014 independence referendum’

Anwen Elias (Aberystwyth University) ‘The credibility of stateless nationalist and regionalist parties in pursuit of constitutional change: Evidence from Catalonia and Scotland’

Eve Hepburn (University of Edinburgh) ‘The push for independence in the Italian regions: Comparing Veneto and Sardinia’

Matthias Scantamburlo and Günther Pallaver (University of Innsbruck) ‘Between secession and “full autonomy”: Party competition over self-determination in South Tyrol’

Jean-Benoit Pilet (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Régis Dandoy (Université Catholique de Louvain) ‘A regionalist party in the capital of Europe: The policy and institutional agenda of the FDF’

César Colino (Spanish National Distance-Learning University, UNED) ‘Federal constitutional reforms under the threat of secession? Conditions and options for a renewed federalism in Spain’

Eduardo J. Ruiz Vieytez (University of Deusto, Bilbao) ‘Minorities seeking sovereignty: A proposal for the regulation of sovereigntist processes’

Richard Gillespie (University of Liverpool) ‘Pro-European nationalist parties and EU negativity: The place of Europe in Basque and Catalan sovereignty politics’

Caroline Gray (University of Liverpool) ‘The role of the EU in the development of substate fiscal autonomy, obstacle or opportunity? The case of the Basque region in Spain’

Alan Trench (Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law) ‘Obstacles to decentralisation: The practical problems of devolving tax and welfare policies in the United Kingdom’

Edward Hugh (independent economist), ‘European identity and the Euro crisis: The fiscal limitations facing federalist aspirations’