Post-national urbanity beyond (pluri)nation(al) states in the EU: Benchmarking Scotland, Catalonia, and the Basque Country

Igor Calzada


This article compares three small, stateless, city-regional nation cases: that of Scotland, Catalonia, and the Basque Country after September 2014. Since the referendum on Scottish independence, depending on its unique context, each case has engaged differently in democratic and deliberative experimentation on the ‘right to decide’ its future beyond its referential (pluri)nation(al) states in the UK and Spain. Most recently, the Brexit referendum has triggered a deeper debate on how the regional and political demands of these entities could rescale the static nature of these (pluri)nation(al) state structures, and even directly advocate for some sort of ‘Europeanisation’. Based on a broader research programme comparing city-regional cases titled Benchmarking City-Regions, this paper argues that the differences in each of these three cases are noteworthy. Yet, even more substantial are their diverse means of accommodating smart devolutionary strategic pathways of self-determination through politically-innovative processes, which include pervasive metropolitanisation responses to a growing ‘post-national urbanity’ pattern emerging in the European Union. Thus, this article examines the following questions: (1) To what extent are the starting points for ‘smart devolution’ similar in each case? (2) What are the potential political scenarios for these entities as a result of the de- or recentralisation strategies of their referential (pluri)nation(al) states? (3) What are the most relevant distinct strategic political innovation processes in each case? Ultimately, this paper aims to benchmark how Scotland, Catalonia, and the Basque Country are strategically moving forward, beyond their corresponding (pluri)nation(al) states, in the context of the new so-called post-national urbanity European geopolitical pattern, by formulating devolution, and even independence, in unique metropolitan terms.

Paraules clau

right to decide, political innovation, small stateless city-regional nations, smart devolution, self-determination, democratic experimentation

Text complet:

19-31 (English)


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