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Conflicting nationalist traditions and immigration: the Basque case from 1950 to 1980

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Nations and Nationalism

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Immigration from the different regions in Spain to the Basque Country has traditionally opposed Basque and Spanish nationalism. This article provides an overview of the discourse of both nationalist traditions with respect to the intra‐regional migration movement of the second half of the twentieth century as well as of the resulting controversy. Whereas the Basque nationalist movement claims to have defended the need to integrate immigrants since the middle of the twentieth century, particularly through politics, Spanish nationalism claims that Basque nationalism has helped marginalise these same immigrants. A qualitative analysis is used to contrast this controversy by consulting the opinion of the Spanish immigrants who settled in the Basque Country and did not avail of the political integration proposed by Basque nationalism. The main conclusion is that these immigrants tend to avoid the heart of the matter of discord between both nationalist traditions, granting little importance to political and cultural elements though stressing their social integration in the Basque Country.