Discussing ethnos, polis, demos and cives in the context of Spanish politics

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Globalization and successive waves of economic crisis are eroding nation state sovereignty and shaking the social pact upon which modern states base their legitimacy. At the same time, nationalism is naturalized in today’s society, being a powerful symbolic tool whereby people can be emotionally mobilized whenever the nation is perceived to be at risk. Nationalism may cast away its banal appearance and take up xenophobic tones, advocating for ethnos (cultural imagined community) to be the basis legitimizing polis (state) at the expense of cives (citizens’ rights and duties). But, can the realm of affectivity be dissociated from the rational realm of rights and duties? Can civic and political participation be decoupled from cultural and territorial dimensions of citizenship? This chapter discusses this in light of the crisis of nation states, and reflects on the notions of social pact, imagined community, banal nationalism and demos in relation to the Catalan crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCatalan Independence and the Crisis of Sovereignty
EditorsOscar García Agustín
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-54866-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-54867-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Catalan crisis
  • Sovereignty
  • Nationalism
  • Citizenship
  • Nation states


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