PostIndependentzia > #HanIzanikHonaGara BOOK


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On 23rd and 26th June, Dr Igor Calzada presented his new book entitled PostIndependentzia > #HanIzanikHonaGara (PostIndependence > #BeingThereWeAreHere) in ELKAR bookshop in St. Sebastian published by TransLoKal Academic Entrepreneurship for Policy Making. The book gathers some of the most relevant conclusions of his three-year research on Regional and Social Innovation Studies at the University of Oxford. The original and first edition is in Basque language.

In Europe, milestone changes are taking place in which the right for territories to decide their own future and democratic choices for devolution and independence are becoming issues. This book aims to visualize the Basque Country from the outside, from an international point of view by proposing its real choices and contradictions in a constructive, transformational and entrepreneurial manner.

And what if we were an independent country? What if, starting today, we began to think about independence the very next day and started on a plan of action? That is what PostIndependence is. To that end, the author believes that it is essential that relations with other countries and projects should be bolstered, a place that we would like in the world, to start working on a united strategic action.

The launch event was on 23rd June at 11AM in Elkar Bookshop in St. Sebastian where it was presented the book by the author and the Basque journalist, Mariano Ferrer. This event that was forwarded to media will be completed with another event on 26th June at 7PM in the same venue. This second event that aimed to open the floor to discussion and conversation around the book, was conducted entirely by the Basque journalist, Mariano Ferrer.

The book has been published by TranLoKal Academic Entrepreneurship for Policy Making - Ekintzailetasun Akademikoa Herrigintzarako new organization.

The book contains the preliminary conclusions from the research project entitled "Benchmarking Future City-Regions" carried out by Dr Calzada at the University of Oxford and Ikerbasque.

More info please contact:

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PostIndependentzia > #HanIzanikHonaGara BOOK

  1. 1.        
  2. 2.   SYNOPSIS   The Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga coined the literary metaphor ‘Euskal Hiria’ (understood as an inclusive city-regional configuration of the Basque territory) to challenge us to imagine the natural path by which we would be able to work out our inner contradictions. This remains an unfinished business, an imaginary unachieved and thus a reality unresolved. We have not materialised the metaphor and fully come to terms with the diverse and socially complex nature of the Basque geographies. Quarrelling and short-sightedness remain the daily rule in Basque politics, and dealing with this provokes a mess entangled in a contradiction that paralyses any forward- looking attempt at strategic policy-makings. While Atxaga might not have succedded in this attempt, however, Joseba Sarrionandia, another prominent and still highly relevant Basque writer from the same generation as Atxaga, may have managed to show the way some time ago, when he suggested the TransLoKal mantra, #BeingThereIAmHere. A territory where the inner and outer dynamics have merged together has contradictions that should be faced and accepted, contradictions that are equally ours, one's own, and lived by others. In the age of globalisation, what is the role that ‘Basqueness’ should play? Or, alternatively, what should be the contribution of ‘Basqueness’ to the world at large? Moreover, how can a contemporary internationally constructed Basqueness be fixed to keep up and stay relevant to the challenges that lay ahead? This issue becomes one of goals and methods alike. Which TransLoKal territorial strategy should be pursued? Should it be pursued through networking among individuals in a self-established hybrid merger of local and global territorial locations? What is the role of the official Basque institutions regarding their current work and contribution to the TransLoKal entrepreneurial aim as a way to promote the Basqueness abroad? And is it possible for us, when defining territorial strategies and policies at the local level, to turn the role of social entrepreneurs and activists into promoters of progress rather than victims of stagnation? This core idea of this book is that the Basque Country, due to its own intricacies rather than merely as a consequence of its being kidnapped and held captive by the old- fashioned Spanish and French state legal frameworks, has come, over the years, to develop many points of inertia that are inherent in its territorial policies and strategies. In short, this work starts from the thesis that the territory, the people, the imaginary, indeed Basqueness itself has now reached a turning point. The Basque geographies are at a clear strategic crossroads. As Keating has argued (2001, 2005, 2009), globalisation and European integration have led to a resurgence of post-nationalism, beyond that of the nation-states. Territories are making their way forward, but not every route is the same. This is why the contribution of social innovation is essential, so that we can strategically research, observe and prepare these democratic processes. Here, therefore, the Basque Country is compared with the seven other City-Region territories that make up the focus of research in the project Catalonia (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Iceland,
  3. 3.   Liverpool/Manchester (UK), Oresund (Sweden and Denmark), Portland (Oregon) and Scotland (UK). Each of the territories studied has its own peculiarities as well as its own strategy and policies. The goal here is to relativise the Basque Country and then look to an understanding of how Basque Country is conceived in these other territories rather than by the administrative hindrances and institutional confines of Spain and France. How is the Basque Country seen from the outside? And how can that inform our own route? Looking forward, what exactly is to be done? It is clear that the world and also the Basque Country, is at a threshold of new geopolitics and a novel geostrategy, so how might we take advantage of the opportunity to become in a national community with an internationally perspective? A variety of factors inform the possible new TransLoKal territorial strategies. These include, among others, the ending of ETA's activities, political normalisation and opportunities for a peace process; the failure of the socio-economic and territorial model of the Spanish state and the need for a new constitutional order; the ageing of the nation-state model, real administrative division and the emergence of city-regions as urban-based geographical units; the importance of migration movements of all kinds (socio-economic and political, intraregional and transnational, etc.); very specifically, the perpetuation of the inertia of cultural politics rooted to the decimononic medieval ground of feuding Oinaz and Gamboa clans, and very generally, the need for a socially balanced post-crisis economic model. All of the above should be material for formulating questions about the territoriality of the Basque Country. We should avoid the temptation to provide theoretical answers, however, and should rather strive to introduce into our society a democratic policy- making and its realisation in action. The Basque Country, it is argued, requires a new kind of political culture based on building bridges and finding agreements between diverse positions. This is characterised as a rationalised dialectic working toward an original contemporary, city-regional and local/global PostIndenpendentist politics. Indeed, the other researched territories mentioned are all city-regions in the sense that they are developing territorial strategies and policies in order to work out their right to determine their own territorial subjectivity. The Basque Country should prepare its democratic process with the highest degree of social innovation possible by comparing with other territories instead of going it alone. This is why the book is called PostIndependence, in reference to a future scenario, to the right to decide for this hypothetical independent territory of tomorrow and the need to prepare, research, implement and disseminate territorial strategies and policies. Implicitly, it is assumed and accepted that the independence or devolution processes (OECD, 2001) are essentially democratic processes, as shown by some of the EU cases and elsewhere around the world. However, in this preparatory work, it is vital that other territories should be observed, linked, compared and benchmarked. Indeed, the transnational identity of the Basque Country should be constructed relatively in connection with others rather than be based solely on self-identification.
  4. 4.   In the period ahead, the Basque will need to work on its recognition, including from other territories, TransLoKal strategies and policies will be crucial here. Firstly, international territorial issues should be addressed by systemically merging them with internal territorial issues; and secondly, TransLoKal entrepreneurs - meaning enterprising indivuals, social activits and progressive small organizations - should be given a leading role, without, that is, having to depend on the blind and burdensome dominance of traditional institutions and their management structures. Entrepreneurs must go before, with the support and coordination of institutions. This is actually the opposite of what is happening: institutions are smothering the initiative of the few entrepreneurs and social activists and bringing everything to a halt, thereby dampening dynamism, blocking social transformation and encumbering the system overall. #BeingThereWeAreHere is a tool to gradually prepare the future scenario for PostIndependence in a serious, systematic and strategic way in order to gather strength from within and withough. Otherwise, provisional acts lacking prospective could leave the territorial development in an exposed, aimless position. The Basque system needs a stimulus in which public institutions, private firms, academia, technological centres, trade unions, social and economic agents, civil society and individuals (entrepreneurs/activists) are all included. Structurally, the book is divided into two sections. The book aims to be an entrepreneurial essay. That is to say, on the one hand, it begins with free narrative style presented entirely from a personal point of view but informed by an academic systematic, systematic rigour, and it concludes with a comparative and prospective proposal, which is the main contribution. Overall, it is proposed as operational outcome the platform in order to self-manage these communities on- and offline. The first section, entitled #BeingThereIAmHere (a quotation from Joseba Sarrionandia), offers a personal and experiential essay style. The guiding principle is clear: what is territory and what Basque territoriality would be like in a forthcoming geopolitical, geostrategic, and TransLoKal context. In the second section, entitled #BeingThereWeAreHere, the author puts aside his personal position and takes on the role of researcher in presenting a scientific and entrepreneurial academic essay. Rather than providing a prescriptive work and a recipe of answers to be applied, the goal is to foster discussion by identifying questions that may lead towards policy-making projects. Special effort has been made to open up the way towards having a solid and rigorous discussion. This section is sub-divided up into four subsections - Maps, Names (& Beings), Territories, and Strategies – each of which, in turn, is further divided into four parts. The goal is to reach the PostIndependence section first by explaining and then by working through in reverse order, the following parts: Critical Social Innovation, Smart City, We (& The Others) (comparison with the seven territories), City-Regions, Communities and TransLoKal.
  5. 5.   SINOPSIA   Atxagak Euskal Hiria metafora literarioa bota zuen Salzburgoko adar moduan putzura eta hondotik, kristalez disdiratsu moduan aterako genuela irudikatu zuen. Ez da hori gertatu. Euskal geografiak, beren gizarte konplexutasunean eta aniztasunean ulertu eta gauzatu behar genuen metafora ez dugu gauzatu. Ez gara gai izan kategoria sozio- ekonomiko eta politiko-instituzional zabalak epe luzeetan prospektibaz eraikitzeko. Hika-mikak eta epe-motzak agintzen du euskal politikan eta horren kudeaketa kategoria kontrajarrien paralisian kateatutako mataza da. Atxagak ez, baina agian Sarrionandiak bidea ireki digu aspaldi ordea: #HanIzanikHonaNaiz. Lurraldea, barruko eta kanpoko dinamikek osatzen dutenean, kontraesanak azaleratuz onartu beharrean dira, gureak, norberarenak eta besteenak. Globalizazioaren aroan beraz, zein da “euskal” adierak jokatu beharko lukeen rol-a? Zein bestalde “euskal” adierak mundu globalari egin beharko lioken ekarpena? Eta bien bitartean, nola eratu nazioartearekin batera euskal adiera eguneratu bat, hurrengo bost urteetako erronkei aurre egiteko? Horretarako, zein lurralde estrategia translokal bideratu? Alegia, pertsonen arteko lurraldetasun global eta lokalen hibridotasunean autoeratzen diren sareen bidez? Zein da euskal erakundeak erronka hauen aurrean duten kokalekua eta beraien egungo lanaren islada? Posible al dugu, baita ere, lurraldegintza dinamiko baten estrategia eta politikak herri mailan definitzerako orduan, ekintzaileak (pertsonak) erakundeen estankamentuaren biktima baino suspertzaile bilakatzea? Ezkuizkribu honen hipotesiak, Euskal Herria, ez soilik Estatu Espainiar eta Frantsesaren eskema zaharkituen ondorioz bakarrik, baizik eta bere baitan, garatu dituen inertzia asko direla eta; bere lurralde politika eta estrategietan inflexio puntu bat behar duela sostengatzen du haseratik. Horretarako galderak erantzunak baino gehiago proposatuz. Euskal geografiak, barru nahiz kanpokoak, abagune estrategiko garbi batean daude. Keating-ek dion moduan (2001, 2005, 2009), Globalizazio eta Europear integrazioaren ondorioz, Estatu-Nazioen barruan postabertzaletasun baten biziberritze bat areagotzen ari baita. Lurraldeak beraien bidea hartzen ari dira. Baina bide guztiak ez dira berdinak eta ez dituzte emaitza berdinak izanen. Hor, Gizarte Berrikuntzaren ekarpena ezinbestekoa da, prozesu demokratiko horiek estrategikoki ikertu, behatu eta aurrez prestatu ditzagun. Eskuizkribuan autoreak, Euskal Herria proiektuan ikertzen diren gainontzeko 7 Hiri-Eskualde diren lurraldeekin alderatzen ditu: Dublin, Portland, Oresund, Islandia, Liverpool/Manchester, Eskozia eta Katalunia. Lurralde bakoitzak bere berezitasunak eta baita bere estrategia eta politikak izanik. Helburua, Euskal Herria bera erlatibizatzea da. Bere burua besteen bidez defini dezan aurrerantza begira, eta ez noski Estatu Espainiar eta Frantsesaren baldintzagai administratibo-politikoen eta koordenada cul de sac etengabeetan. Hori iragana beharko luke izan. Nola ikusten da Euskal Herria kanpotik? Eta barrutik ere bizi eta sentitzen dutenek, zer ikusten dute? Zer egin hemendik aurrera? Argi dago, geopolitika eta geoestrategia berri baten atezuan dagoela mundua baina baita ere Euskal Herria. Nola aprobetxatu abagunea, izatera iritsi nahi duen Komunitate Nazionala izatera iristeko? Faktore batzuk
  6. 6.   eman dira, Lurralde Estrategia TransLoKal berriak eskatzen dituenak. Besteak beste abagune berri hau honako faktoreak definitituta etorri da: ETAren borroka armatuaren amaiera, normalizazio politiko eta bake prozesu baten balizko egoera, zatiketa administratibo erreala, Estatu Espainiarraren eredu sozio-ekonomiko eta territorialaren porrota, Estatu-Nazioen eredu zaharkitua, konstituziogintza berri baten beharra, hiri- eskualdeen unitate geografikoen gailentzea, migrazio mugimenduen garrantzia, iraganeko oinaz eta gamboa inertzia kulturalen perpetuazioa, eredu ekonomiko postkrisi jasangarri eta sozialki orekatu baten beharra, etab. Hauek guztiek, Euskal Herriaren lurraldetasunerako galderak sortu beharko lituzkete. Baina ez erantzun teoriko bat emateko bueltan. Baizik eta hain beharrezkoa dugun policy-making kultura politiko eta demokratiko bat gizarteratzeko. Horrexegatik, zubigintzan oinarritutako eztabaida eta kultura politiko berri bat behar du Euskal Herriak, eskuizkribu honen arabera. Zubigintzan eta akordioetan oinarrituko den Politika PostIndependentista moderno, eguneratu eta nazioartearekin etengabeko loturak dituena. Izan ere, aztertzen diren beste lurraldeetan, guztiek dute amankomunean zerbait: guztiak dira Hiri-eskualdeak. Alegia, guztiek garatzen dituzte beraien erabakitze eskubidea edo lurraldetasun subjektiboa lantzeko estrategia eta lurralde politikak. Horretan ez dago ezberdintasunik. Euskal Herriak, zentzu horretan, bidea bakarrik egin beharrean, bere prozesu demokratikoak ahalik eta Gizarte Berrikuntza altuenarekin egiteko prestatu beharko luke beste lurraldeekin trukatuz irakasgaiak. Horri deitzen zaio PostIndependentzia: biharko balizko lurralde independiente horren erabakitze- eskubidea gauzatzeko, lurralde estrategia eta politiken alorretik gaurtik prestatu, landu, aztertu, ikertu eta gizarteratzen joateko eszenarioa litzateke. Onartutzat ematen baita, independentzia edo devolution (OECD, 2001) prozesuak, prozesu demokratiko osoak direla, Europar Batasun eta mundu mailako lurraldeetan gertatzen ari den moduan. Hala ere, prestaketa lan horretan beste lurraldeak behatu, konektatu, benchmarking-a egin eta konparatzea ezinbestekoa da. Izan ere, Euskal Herriaren nazioarteko nortasuna ezin da autoidentifikazio batean soilik oinarritu. Beste lurraldeen errekonozimendua landu beharrean dago Euskal Herria datozen 5 urteotan. Balizkoak zaizkion estrategia eta politika TransLoKal zentzu horretan ezinbestekoak ditu. Alegia, bat, kanpora begira jartzea, barrukoarekin txertatuz oso modu sistematikoan eta bi, ekintzaile translokalei bere paper protagonista emanez, erakundeen dominantzia itsu eta geldoetatik at. Ekintzaileak aurretik joan behar dira, erakundeak babesa emanez, atzetik. Eta ez gertatzen dena, hain zuzen alderantzizkoa: erakundeak estaltzen duela, ekintzaile gutxi batzuen iniziatiba, guztia geldiaraziz, dinamismoa itzaliz, aldaketak oztopatuz, sistema itoz. #HanIzanikHonaGara, PostIndependentzia eszenarioa prestatzen joateko tresna bat da, apurka apurka baina maila sistematiko, serio eta estrategikoan. Kanpoa naiz barrua, barrua naiz kanpoa uztartzen joateko. Bestela, inprobisazio eta prospektibarik gabeko behin behineko ekintzek lurraldegintza bilutsik utzi ahal dute, noraezean. Euskal sistemak susperketa behar du. Eta susperketa horretan, erakunde publiko, enpresa, akademia, teknologia zentru, sindikatu, eragile sozial eta ekonomiko, gizarte zibil eta gizabanakoak (ekintzaile/aktibistak) ezinbestekoak dira.
  7. 7.   Eskuizkribua, bi ataletan banatua dago. Saiakera ekintzailea izatea du helburu. Alegia, maila pertsonaletik idatzia dago modu librean, baina kutsu eta sistematika akademikoa izanik ere, bukaeran proposamen prospektibo eta konparatibo batekin amaitzen da. Emaitza operazional gisa, plataforma, PostIndependentziarako Komunitate Translokal horiek modu offline eta online batean auto-antolatzea izanik proposamen konkretua. Lehenengo atalean, #HanIzanikHonaNaiz, autorea, Joseba Sarrionandiaren aiputik abiatzen da. Saiakera pertsonal esperientzial baten estiloarekin hasten da. Ardatza garbia da, zer da lurraldea eta zer litzateke euskal lurraldetasuna testuinguru geopolitiko eta geoestrategiko translokal batean. Bigarren atalean, #HanIzanikHonaGara, autoreak postura pertsonala alboratu eta ikertzailearen rol-a hartzen du, saiakera zientifiko ekintzaile bat proposatuz. Galderak darabilzki, erantzun sortak proposatuz. Beti ere preskripzioa baino, eztabaida lerratzea delarik helburu bakarra. Ahalegin berezia egina dago, eztabaida sendo eta errigorezko bat irekitzeko. Atal hau lau azpiataletan dago banatua: Mapak, Izenak (& Izanak), Lurraldeak eta Estrategiak. Azpiatal bakoitza aldi berean lau zatitan banatzen da. Helburua, PostIndependentzia atalera iristea da, lehenago; Gizarte Berrikuntza Kritikoa, Smart City, Gu (& Besteak?) 8 lurraldeen konparaketa, Hiri-Eskualdeak, Komunitateak eta Translokalak azalduz, atzetik Aurrera. Igor Calzada, PhD June 2014 Ekainak #HanIzanikHonaGara #BeingThereWeAreHere