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Where extremes meet: Sport, nationalism, and secessionism in Catalonia and Scotland

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Nations and Nationalism

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["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 26, Issue 4, Page 943-959, October 2020. ", "\nAbstract\nIn this essay, we trace the symbolic conundrums of belonging and of the reconciliation of identities, in the context of Catalan and Scottish sport and politics. Our discussion will commence with a necessarily concise consideration of past academic contentions regarding the national “psyches,” which have been argued to shape contemporary notions of identity and politics in Catalonia and Scotland, before turning our attention to the specific role of sport vis‐à‐vis these psyches and the growing clamour for greater political autonomy for each of these stateless nations. On the basis of the evidence drawn from the interaction between sport and politics in the two nations, we argue that secessionism is a liminal field of transformation as it includes what is seen as mutually exclusive sets of relationships (Catalans vs. Spaniards, Scottish vs. British, and secessionists vs. unionists/centralists), which at the same time allows subjects to pass from one state to another and occupy them nonexclusively.\n"]