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Spanish Constitutionalism in Catalonia: An anthropology of civic nationalism

Nations and Nationalism

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["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 27, Issue 2, Page 427-448, April 2021. ", "\nAbstract\nThis paper explores the nationalist conflict in Catalonia and how it is lived and experienced by actors within it. It focuses on the people mobilised against independence who see themselves primarily as defenders of the Spanish Constitution and not of Spanish nationalism. Critics of civic nationalism in political theory and Nationalism Studies argue that anti‐nationalist rhetoric tends to be the expression of structural or hegemonic nationalism. Drawing on fieldwork carried out in Barcelona, I look at how the conflict has influenced discourse and language used in everyday life, how participants negotiate their identity, why people do (and do not) get involved in organisations that defend their political ideas, how they see themselves within the conflict and their perceptions of public space and its significance in relation to the constitution. An ethnographic approach explores these issues and discovers that although anti‐independence actors base their mobilisation in nationalism, civic nationalism cannot be reduced to just another form of nationalism. I aim to go beyond critics of civic nationalism to explore how my interlocutors act within and against nationalism, reproducing nationalist discourse in some aspect (boundaries of the nation) in order to challenge it in others (content and relevance of nationalism in everyday life).\n"]