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Is Gibraltar a Nation?

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Taking the work Citizenship, Nationality and Ethnicity by the sociologist T. K. Oommen as a base text, the article considers various definitions of nation and nationhood, plus the distinction between nation and state, in an attempt to redefine the status of Gibraltar and thereby enable the discussions between Britain and Spain over the future of the territory to move forward. The main body of the article consists of an analysis of the results of a survey of Gibraltarians to see how they perceive their own identity. On the basis of this analysis, and taking Oommen's fundamental definition involving territory and language that a nation is a community in communication in its homeland', the conclusion is reached that it is possible to define Gibraltar as a nation. It is argued that if such a status does nothing more, it should at least give Gibraltarians the right to determine their own destiny.
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Keywords: Britain; Gibraltar; Spain; identity; nation; nationhood

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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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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