The Whys and Wherefores of Spain’s Current Political Crisis: Catalonia… Again


Author: Michael Strubell, formerly from Open University of Catalonia, Spain
Email: [email protected]
Published: April 6, 2019

Citation: Strubell, M. (2019). The Whys and Wherefores of Spain’s Current Political Crisis: Catalonia... Again. IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 4(1).


In recent years the media have been full of dramatic headlines on Catalonia. At the time of writing (July 2018) there is a serious institutional crisis unfolding daily. Extracts from media reports serve as a backdrop to this paper.

The paper seeks to provide the background needed to understand what has driven events as far as the current situation: a declaration of independence, an immediate takeover of direct rule, with dismissal of the Catalan government (now part in exile, part in pre-trial detention), forced – for many, illegal – elections, and every effort being made by Spain to prevent a majority in the new Parliament from forming a pro-independence government and implementing an independent state.

This means a brief overview of Catalonia’s 1000-year history, with particular attention to more recent events, and especially since the long-standing dictator, Generalissimo Franco, died peacefully in his bed in 1975. The three-way fugue since 2010, of Catalan civil society, Catalan politicians and Spain’s leadership (with the aid of the courts), will frame the latter part of the presentation.


Catalonia, independence, Spain, politics