Sates of crisis
Letras Libres 3 /2020
‘Letras Libres’ focuses on constitutional crisis in Spain and globally, including articles on the impacts of EU membership on the Spanish state; regional autonomy and polarization; and Catholicism as state religion.
Eurozine review 4/2020
Letras Libres 3 /2020
Subscribe to the Eurozine Review and Newsletter!
‘Europe has shown (and enforced) the path for the reconstruction of the state’, argues Bárcena. The state ‘is no longer a public services manager, nor does it govern the economy or occupy large sectors of the market, but is instead responsible for regulation. The notion of a guarantor state appears, in which stability and institutional quality become key.’
Sandra León writes on traditional perspectives from left and right on regional autonomy. Concepts of autonomy have become more ideological, she argues, which results in compact ideological blocs. The right unanimously prefers a centralized state, while the left is split. In Spain, proposals from the main political parties concerning regional autonomy are more antagonistic than in the past, which fuels the polarization of public opinion. This complicates each party’s efforts to qualify their vision of the autonomous model using economic and cultural arguments.
José María Ridao traces the historical relationship between the Catholic Church and the Spanish state, starting from the unification of the peninsula. The Reconquista and the Empire, which were both based on the suppression of other faiths, are myths sustained by a national historiography that essentializes Catholicism, he argues. From the Constitution of Cadiz in 1812, onwards, Spanish politics has also persisted in defining the ‘essence’ of Spain as being linked to the Catholic religion.
This article is part of the 4/2020 Eurozine review. Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, so to stay tuned on reviews and our latest publishing.
Published 13 March 2020
Original in English
First published by Eurozine
EU enlargement is increasingly connected to the question of Russian influence in the Western Balkans. But while strong cultural ties translate into popular support for Russia, particularly in Serbia, actual Russian involvement is limited. Instead, local elites mobilise pro-Russian sentiments for political gain.
There is now wide consensus across the EU that after twenty years of deadlock a new approach is needed to the accession of the western Balkan countries. But political momentum for a 30+ Union will not translate into real progress unless the public administrations of would-be members undergo far-reaching reforms.