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Advancing a peace culture in Euskadi will require a more open confrontation with conflict culture

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The apparent democratic evolution within the world of the Izquierda Abertzale/Basque Patriotic Left needs to be contextualized within a process of long-term social and political change in Euskadi. For, to a large degree, this political shift, including ETA’s ceasefire declaration in January 2011, is merely a logical response to social and political developments within Euskadi and more broadly. Attention now needs to focus, however, not only upon the agents of political violence and the political conflict, but also to the subculture that has grown up around the violence, and specifically to interventions that are targeted also at this underlying level, where conflict processes are reproduced on a daily basis. One such policy intervention is the Basque Education Plan for Peace and Human Rights (2008–2011). Though lamentably long overdue, this is the first coherent, coordinated and long-term policy intervention of its kind, aimed at the promotion of a peace culture at all levels of the society in Euskadi. Whilst by no means a panacea for the issues that gave rise to conflict process here, the policy is a welcome development and carries the potential to make a significant contribution to the rebuilding of social relations in Euskadi.

Keywords: Basque conflict; ETA; abertzalism/Basque patriotism; conflict culture; kale borroka/street violence and vandalism; peace education

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Lancaster

Publication date: 2011-10-07

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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