TELLIDIS, Ioannis (2018): «Peacebuilding beyond Terrorism? Revisiting the Narratives of the Basque Conflict», Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.
Taking stock of critical peace research and agonistic politics, this article revisits the Basque conflict to examine the role of the state’s counter-terrorist narrative and that of the Basque civil society in the elimination of violence. It argues that violence could have ended sooner if Spanish governments had sought to engage with the non- and anti-violent independentist discourse of broad sectors of the Basque society, rather than criminalising it as they rightly did with the radical/extremist nationalists. Had they done so, they could have capitalised on Basque civil society’s strong anti-violent and anti-ETA discourse to marginalise the terrorist organisation and its networks of support. The article presents a framework that makes possible the marginalisation of militancy and extremism in cases where the state accepts to negotiate the legitimacy of the demands of non- and/or anti-violent nationalists.
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