Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


International Affairs

First Advisor

Benjamin Teitelbaum

Second Advisor

Damian Doyle

Third Advisor

Vicki Hunter


In recent years, many citizens in the Spanish region of Catalonia have mobilized in favor of independence, a desire previously far outside the mainstream. As of the spring of 2016, separatists control the majority of seats in Catalan parliament. This study seeks to explain why independence is so widely supported in Catalonia, and focuses specifically on the region’s 2006 Statute of Autonomy, which the Spanish Constitutional Court modified in a 2010 ruling. The struggles that the statute faced both before and after the court’s 2010 ruling provided a crucial turning point in the debate over Catalan independence. The political rhetoric and media reactions surrounding the court’s ruling serve as manifestations of longstanding conflicts within Spanish society and, in doing so, frame the larger issue of Catalan separatism. So, the controversy surrounding Catalonia’s 2006 Statute of Autonomy provides a useful case study for understanding the ideological disputes within Spain that allowed for the current situation.