Date of Award
Croft Institute for International Studies
My thesis focuses on Euskadi ta Auskatasuna (ETA), a terrorist group in País Vasco, Spain and attempts to determine the causes behind ETA's violence. I focus on three areas of study: the political situation of País Vasco, the public opinion, and the economic situation of País Vasco. Data is collected from the Basque government, the EuskoBarómetro, and World Bank, and showed in correlation with ETA attacks to discern patterns. Due to limited data, my area of study focuses mainly on ETA's later years, when they were less active. This allows me to focus on the periods of the ceasefires in contrast to active years, to determine if one factor played more of a role in violence than the others. While the Basque case is unique in Spain, it has similarities to other cases of ethnic violence. As such, if the cause of Basque violence and their motivations towards reaching a ceasefire can be discovered, they may be implemented in other cases of ethnic violence, such as that of the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey. Through my research, I concluded that neither nationalist representation in the Basque Parliament or public opinion correlates with ETA attacks; however, increased economic prosperity led to decreased violence. While I found that political representation and public opinion were not consequential, it is possible that they played a small role which I was not able to discern through my research. As such, my research is inconclusive and I suggestive further study into looking into the causes of Basque violence and its demise. One such area for further study that I suggest is the internal structure of the group and how increased action from the state, including imprisoning leaders, may have led to the downfall of the group.
Kern, Jenny, "ETA in Spain: Explaining Basque Violence" (2017). Honors Theses. 438.