Newcomers as Accessories: A Study of Basque and Catalan Autonomy Campaigns through Immigrant Integration Strategies
This thesis examines the political autonomy campaigns of subnational entities. Subnational entities may be defined as political entities located below the state level whose members are connected through historic territories and socio-cultural identities. Catalonia and the Basque Country are presented as the two case studies of this thesis and are approached with a comparative framework. From the outset, an examination of the Westphalian state structure of the international political system is provided, with particular emphasis on the political position of subnational entities. The thesis then utilises the contemporary phenomenon of international migration and explores the international immigration trends that affect Catalonia and the Basque Country. The potential tension at the intersection of international immigration and subnational autonomy campaigns is analysed, guided by the question of whether Catalonia or the Basque Country approach foreign immigration as a hindrance or a help to their political autonomy campaigns. The integration policies of Catalonia and the Basque Country are then assessed, as well as an analysis of the alternative political relations which Catalonia and the Basque Country have formed based upon the issue of foreign immigrant integration. This thesis finds that although the sovereign state structure continues to dominate the international political system, Catalonia and the Basque Country demonstrate how subnational autonomy campaigns continue to be pursued. Furthermore, this thesis finds that Catalonia and the Basque Country have recently utilised the issue of foreign immigrant integration as a stratagem for enhancing their informal political competencies.