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Twenty five years ago, the historian Eric Hobsbawm announced the end of nations and nationalism. Like the Owl of Minerva, they appeared in view only as they flew into the twilight. In 2015, however, nationalism looks very much alive, with restive movements even in established states like the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain. This might seem at odds with the movement to European unity but in practice the two are linked.
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On November 26th, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised the academic debate “Independence Movements in Europe. Threat or Opportunity for the EU?” in cooperation with the Centre on Constitutional Change of the University of Edinburgh and with presence of the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the UK and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.

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On November 26th, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised the academic debate “Independence Movements in Europe. Threat or Opportunity for the EU?” in cooperation with the Centre on Constitutional Change of the University of Edinburgh and with presence of the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the UK and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.

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As politics in Catalonia becomes increasingly polarised over territorial concerns, finds Sandra León, those parties and policies that don't speak to the issues of sovereignty and relations with Madrid are being squeezed out. 

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In the light of the Catalan results both Madrid and Barcelona have some options, says Michael Keating, but the current political climate is unlikely to see an immediate breakthrough.

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The 2015 election in Catalonia has provided a clear mandate for the pro-secessionist movement but, argues Marc Sanjaume, there is no obvious institutional means to deliver it.
 
The results of the Catalan elections bear a close resemblance to Wittgenstein’s “Philosophical Investigations” duck-rabbit. That is they can be read simultaneously as a victory leading to a fast-track secessionist plan or as a defeat that would abort any attempt to pursue any pro-sovereignty step in Catalonia. 
 
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Although the overall levels of support for and against independence barely changed in the Catalan election, says Robert Liñeira, there have been sizable shifts within each bloc. 

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