Disputes Between the National States and Ethnic Identities with the Basque Example


Ethnicity in the historical process has been the main subject of political, economic, military and geographical change. Ethnicity, which was identical to the identity of tribes and clans before empires formed the basis of different phenomena in multi-ethnic national states. In this context, terms such as nation, race, ethnic minority, national minority etc. are used synonymously. The international structure formed aft er the collapse of the bipolar system. Concepts such as ethnic, ethnic group, minority, national minority, ethnic minority, nation, nation-state, ethnic-state, ethnic problems, ethnic discrimination have been brought to the agenda again and these concepts’ qualities and meanings have started to be reconsidered by scholars.

Ethnic issues not only affect internal politics but also external and international politics for countries which have ethnic groups in their society. Therefore, these effects are causing the questioning of the system of national-states which underlies the international system.

The Basque problem is characterised by the nationalist movements of the Basque society which is struggling for independence in Spain from the past to the present (the Basque society has been struggling for independence in Spain since 17th century) or who are working hard to achieve their special status. From the demands for privileges of the Basque separatist movement in Spain, the Basque problem is of great importance for the current Spanish political system.

In order to solve the problem, it is necessary to examine the mutual demands and solutions of Spain and the Basque Country. From this point of view, the Spanish Administration should be directed towards moderate policies and take into account the conditions of the region. The constitution must also guarantee individual and cultural rights. This study aims to observe the problems between the Basques and Spain historically and to understand the Basque ethnic phenomenon better.

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