Spain’s Multinational Constitution: a Lost Opportunity?

Antoni Abad i Ninet, Adrià Rodés Mateu


The Spanish Constitution of 1978 provid- ed an opportunity for minority nationalities within Spain to achieve a degree of political au- tonomy not shared by others within the state. During the constituent process, the non-Span- ish speaking national communities of Catalonia and the Basque Country were the only political entities demanding political autonomy to ac- commodate their national identities in the new Constitution. Today, after thirty years of demo- cratic and constitutional development, we can see that the possibilities offered by the Spanish Constitution to recognize and accommodate the multinational character of the Spanish state have been lost. This article examines causes of this failure to take advantage of the possibilities provided by the Spanish Constitution to pro- vide for asymmetrical political autonomy for minority nationalities.

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