A Multidisciplinary Approach to Processes of Sovereignty Construction

The Basque Case

News

15 May 2015

​Oñati, 14-15 May 2015​

The workshop organized by Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, the Department of Political Science of the University of the Basque Country and PRIO gathered international and Basque researchers to elaborate on contemporary visions of sovereignty and analyze processes of sovereignty construction from an interdisciplinary approach, covering conceptualizations of new political dynamics, emergent sociological processes and their legal reflections, with special focus on the Basque Country and attention to the fields of anthropology, sociology, law, political science and history. Through this multidisciplinary scientific exchange the workshop aimed at advancing the understanding of notions of sovereignty and processes of sovereignty construction in general and in the Basque case specifically. 

El taller de trabajo organizado por el Instituto Internacional de Sociología Jurídica de Oñati, e​​l Departamento de Ciencia Política de la Universidad del País Vasco y PRIO analizó nociones contemporáneas del concepto de soberanía y procesos de construcción de soberanìa desde un enfoque multidisciplinar. El programa prestó especial atención a los campos de la antropología, la sociología, el derecho, la ciencia política y la historia. Los trabajos académicos presentados se centraron en la conceptualización de nuevas dinámicas políticas e incipientes procesos sociológicos así como en su reflejo legal. A través de este intercambio científico multidisciplinar profundizamos en la comprensión de las diferentes nociones de la soberanía como concepto y como proceso de construcción social tomando como caso de estudio ​el País Vasco.​​

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Presentations revolved around the dynamics and trajectories of sovereignty construction and considered the social contexts that have produced various imaginations of sovereignty. The research papers presented at the workshop identified combinations of political, cultural, economic and institutional factors and related social mobilizations that have propagated claims and assertions of sovereignty in the Basque Country and elsewhere. ​

The first sessions of the workshop were devoted to a general introduction of the theme of sovereignty in a post-global context as well as to current debates on sovereignty with presentations by Cynthia Weber (University of Sussex), Joserramon Bengoetxea (University of the Basque Country), Michael Keating (University of Aberdeen) and Rebecca Bryant (London School of Economics). 

The multidisciplinary team then analyzed political, sociological and anthropological perspectives of sovereignty construction as a concept and process with presentations by Åshild Kolås (Peace Research Institute Oslo) and Daniele Conversi (University of the Basque Country) followed by in-depth analyses of these perspectives applied to the Basque case by Asier Blas & Igor Ahedo, Mila Amurrio & Ane Larrinaga, Julen Zabalo & Txoli Mateos, and Mario Zubiaga from the University of the Basque Country. The last session provided an overview of existing political, legal, and civil society lead processes of sovereignty construction in the Basque Country with interventions by Francisco Letamendia, Iñaki Barcena, Iñigo Urrutia & Zelai Nicolas, Pedro Ibarra & Iban Galletebeitia, and Jule Goikoetxea from the University of the Basque Country.​