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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) Chair Group on History and Theory of International Relations

CIRR-HTIR colloquium - TILMAN LANZ: "'The Catalan Republic is a Sea of Opportunities!'- Populism and the Independence Movement in Catalonia"

When:Th 02-12-2021 16:00 - 18:00

Research colloquium of the chair group History and Theory of International Relations.

Tilman Lanz
“The Catalan Republic is a Sea of Opportunities!”- Populism and the Independence Movement in Catalonia


Populist aspects of the independence movement in Catalonia are controversially debated ever since the independence referendum in the region on October 1st 2017. Some maintain that its structure, modes of operation and trajectories are definitively of populist character, while others point to the multivocality of the movement as a main reason why the populist import of the movement is more difficult to evaluate. This article examines in what ways and where populism plays a role within the Catalan independence movement. It applies two pertinent populism theories to this concrete case, the ideational approach frequently associated with Cas Mudde and the discursive-hegemonic theory associated with Ernesto Laclau’s work. The text aims to understand populist aspects in their embededness and origin within larger social, political, linguistic, and economic processes in Catalonia. It thus contributes to academic debates about a more general understanding of how populist strategies, theories, and modes of voicing dissent are rooted within the larger social fabric. In addition, a more refined understanding of the pertinence and practical viability of specific definitions and theories of populism is achieved by testing them against the case at hand.