Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-21-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Milorad Novicevic

Second Advisor

Ana Velitchkova

Third Advisor

David Fragoso Gonzalez

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Catalonia, the autonomous region of Spain has seen an increase in secessionist sentiments in recent years. While the past inclination toward independence has been centered on economic autonomy and cultural identity, there has been a recent emphasis on political independence, particularly in the times of crisis. In this thesis. I analyze the relationship between the economic changes during the period of a crisis and the public opinion about the potential Catalan secession. Specifically, it investigates the relationships between the economic change and public sentiment during the financial crisis of 2008, the political crisis of 2017, and the pandemic crisis of 2020. I hypothesized that there would be a significant relationship between the economic growth and the Catalan desire to secede during times of crisis. To test my hypothesis, I conducted a trend analysis of the percentage of agreement with questions or statements posed by the Baròmetre d’Opinió Política [Political Opinion Barometer]. The trend of this percentage of agreement was examined against the GDP in Catalonia. This thesis was conducted under the theoretical framework of political economy, paying specific attention to the political economy of secession. The results indicate a weak relationship between the public’s desire for secessionism and economic prosperity. The results do suggest, however, that there may be a deterioration between the region of Catalonia and the central government in Spain.

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