A comparative study of separatist movements in Catalonia and Scotland
In the modern world, the lines drawn to define physical states do not always align with the â€œimagined communitiesâ€ within these borders. Consequently, movements arise with groups who do not identify with the nation-state and thus do not feel part of it, which leads to the desire to separate from the physical state. In this thesis, I look at two well-known separatist movements: the case of Catalonia and its desired secession from Spain and Scotland and its desired secession from the United Kingdom (UK). These two movements have seen different outcomes of their independence referendums, with the majority of Catalans voting to leave Spain while the majority of Scots voted to remain in the UK, yet many underlying factors are similar between the two movements' origins as well as the individuals in the regions' claims of exceptionalism, notably a strong association with a European identity. My goal is to understand the differences between these two movements, and to what extent the identities of the regions and host states are reconcilable through observation of cultural identities of the regions compared to the host state and the economic relationships between the region and its host state. In order to do so, I compare and contrast sports in both places, particularly whether the region has its own sports leagues, to serve as a microcosm for the respective separatist movement. I also look at how the recent success of Brexit has affected these movements, particularly in the Scottish case. Lastly, I analyze all of the data collected in this thesis to understand what lies ahead for these separatist movement and the overarching idea of the nation-state and how this will affect the future of the European Union (EU).