TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE: THE CATALAN DEBACLE IN LIGHT OF THE SLOVENIAN ATTAINMENT OF INDEPENDENCE

Carlos González-Villa, Branislav Radeljić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The failed Catalan sovereignty process, launched in 2012 and then crushed by the intervention of the Spanish central government in 2017, relied to a certain extent on a discursive framework based on the evocation of previous secessionist experiences in Europe. Among these, the case of Slovenia (successfully completed in 1992) stood out. A close examination of these cases outlines the limitations of these analogies, notably through their differences in terms of political and social articulation and, in particular, the diverging success of external engagement. Beyond political and social articulation and the degree of economic development (heterogeneous aspects in many successful statehood processes), the comparison of these cases demonstrates that a sound internationalization strategy is essential for statehood attainment. The success of such a strategy does not solely depend on the secessionist actors’ ability to reach out to the relevant international players, but also on the latter’s readiness to provide necessary support. While the Slovenes managed to promptly engage with the rapid geopolitical changes in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, the Catalan bid for secession found receptiveness only among marginal actors within major powers, all together unwilling to push for border changes of a state located in a sensitive area of the Euro-Atlantic security complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-95
Number of pages15
JournalSovremennaya Evropa
Volume2023
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Catalonia
  • Slovenia
  • international recognition
  • post-Cold War
  • secessionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations

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