Globalisation, Transnational Social Movements and Radical Nationalism in Basque Country and Ireland
1Globalisation, TransnationalSocial Movements and RadicalNationalism in Basque Countryand IrelandAdriano CirulliUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”
2Research hypotheses and questionGlobalisation is reshaping socio-politicalphenomena, including social and protestmovements: are emerging new transnationalsocial movements (No Global, GlobalJustice Movement)How the transformation of social movementsis influencing leftist radical nationalistmovements’ organisational structure,strategy and ideological frames?
3Leftist Radical Nationalist MovementsNationalism movements which since the1960s, particularly in Europe, havedeveloped a leftist discourse and strategy,mixing national liberation and revolutionarysocialism, often legitimating the use ofpolitical violence within a Marxist-Leninistand Anti-Imperialist ideological framework(Brest Charter 1970s)
4Theoretical framework• Globalisation represents a relevant transformative factorfor nationalism (Keating 2001; Guibernau 1996; Smith1995; Brown 2000)• Nationalism is a thin ideology, a political chameleon,grounded on the claim of national self-government, itsideological core, which needs to be thickened withideological secondary concepts in order to express itselfas a full political ideology and movement. (Freeden1998)• Social movements are multidimensional phenomena:organisational structure; structure of politicalopportunities; framing processes (della Porta and Diani2006)
5Case studies• Basque Radical Nationalism: IzquierdaAbertzale (Patriotic Left), emerged sincethe 1950s around the armed group ETA(Euskadi ta Askatasuna/Basque Countryand Freedom)• Irish Republican Movement: Sinn Féinand IRA
6Case studies: why?• Both movements have been stronglycharacterised - despite internal contradictions,divides and conflicts -, by a synthesis ofnationalism and revolutionary socialism• Both have been strongly influenced in theirideological and strategic evolution by theinteraction with social and counterculturalmovements• Their social and political organisations havebeen taking an active role within the GlobalJustice Movement transnational network
7Global Justice Movement main features(della Porta and Tarrow 2004)OrganisationalStructureNetwork, flexible, reflexive,open (vs the more vertical,rigid, and closed structures offormer movements)Frames Justice, Equality, ParticipativeDemocracy (internal andexternal)Forms of Action Protest, Lobbying, Non-violentcivil disobedience
8Izquierda Abertzale: 1950s-1970sPoliticalOpportunitiesStructure• Franco’s Regime (social, cultural and politicalrepression)• Industrialisation (highly politicised labour conflicts)• Anti-Colonial Movements (Cuba, Algeria, Vietnam)• European Social and Countercultural Movements(‘French May’, Existentialism)Strategy Rising spiral Action-Repression-Action oriented towardsa mass insurgency against the regimeOrg. Structure Centrality of ETA, considered as an army of nationalliberationFrames • Independentzia ta Sozialismoa (particularly after1968)• Anti-ColonialismForms of Action Armed struggle; mass protest
9Izquierda Abertzale: 1978-1992PoliticalOpportunitiesStructure• Democratisation: Constitution and Autonomy (opening ofopportunities; competition for consensus within the nationalistfield)• De-industrialisation• Development of new social and countercultural movements(Feminism, GLTB, Punk, Environmentalists, Squats, Free-Radios,Antimilitarist)Strategy Agglutination of all independentist and anti-systemic groups insupport of the negotiation ETA-Government (Alternativa KAS)Org. Structure KAS (Koordinadora Abertzale Sozialista): Platform composed ofvarious organisations, under the factual leadership of ETA(Marxist-Leninist structure)Frames • Negotiation• National Liberation and Social TransformationForms of Action •Armed struggle (emerging tensions)• electoral participation on an abstentionist ticket (Herri Batasunacoalition)• Mass protest• civil disobedience
10Izquierda Abertzale: 1990s-PoliticalOpportunitiesStructure• Implementation of the Autonomous institutions• End of the Cold War scenario• Peaceful independence processes in eastern Europe / peaceprocess in Ireland• Rising social criticism against political violence (also within theabertzale movement)• Illegalisation (since 2002)• Transnational Social MovementsStrategy • Wide national front (with moderate nationalists);• Two levels negotiation: between Basque social and politicalactors/ ETA-State (Alternativa democratica 1995; LizarraAgreement 1998)Org. Structure Network, plural, democratic, open, flexible (but with an implicitcontrol of ETA on abertzale social and political organisations)Frames • Autodeterminazioa• Participative democracy• Identitarian SocialismForms of Action Armed struggleMass protestPolitical negotiation
11Irish Republicanism: late 1960s-1970sPoliticalOpportunitiesStructure• Ulster as ‘Orange’ State• Failure of the IRA ‘Border campaign’• NICRA: mass movements not openly nationalistStrategy Armed pressure to reach British withdrawalOrg. Structure Centrality of IRA; Sinn Féin as transmission belt to raisesupport for the armed groupFrames • ‘Brits Out’• Reunification• Anti-colonialism• Socialism (not well defined; tensions between‘traditional’ nationalist and a more socialist orientedleadership)Forms of Action Armed struggle; mass protest in support of the IRAactions
12Irish Republicanism: 1980sPoliticalOpportunitiesStructure• Ulsterisation/Criminalisation• Hanger strike (involvement of a broader social base,also in the Republic)• Dialogue with the SDLPStrategy Armed pressure to reach British withdrawalOrg. Structure Centrality of IRA, but with an increasing autonomy ofSinn Féin leadership (G. Adams), and a more activepolitical role for the partyFrames • Self-determination• Reunification and Independence• JusticeForms of Action • Armed struggle• Electoral participation (‘Ballot box and Armalite’)
13Irish Republicanism: 1990s-PoliticalOpportunitiesStructure• Peace process• End of Cold War• ‘Celtic Tiger’ (and new social inequalities in theRepublic)• Transnational Social MovementsStrategy Reunification through consentOrg. Structure Centrality of Sinn Féin, political party representative ofthe whole republican communityFrames • Equality• Justice• Participative democracy• Sovereignty (critical engagement in Europe)• Empowerment for the PeopleForms of Action Institutional politics AND movement politics(institutionalisation?)
14ConclusionsThe transformation of social movements, and the emergence of the GJM, seems tohave just partially influenced radical leftist nationalist movements. It haverepresented mainly a catalyser factor, accelerating trends already existing withinnationalist movements.In the Basque case, the relationship with the GJM increased the relevance ofinternal tensions regarding the maintenance of the ETA leadership on themovement, and the debate on the armed strategyIn the Irish case, after the end of armed struggle, Sinn Féin has found in the GJM auseful source for new ideological frames to reshape its identity and discourse.However, the GJM impact is much less relevant on the organisational dimension,as Sinn Féin is still and increasingly structured as a political party.