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Claremont McKenna College

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Spain: Policy, Law, and Regional Autonomy in Europe


The last century of Spanish history has been characterized by entrenched division between Spain and its regional communities. The Basque Country, Catalonia, and Spanish central government all remain divided on Spain’s status as a plurinational State. Today, Spanish football has become a direct representation of this dilemma, an ethno-regional arena for intense competition between Spain’s prominent nationalities: Basque, Catalan, and Spanish. With differing stances on independence and the state of Spain, these regions have used their football clubs as a representation of their regional identities. In this paper, I will analyze the identities of Spain’s top three football clubs: FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Spain. I will then demonstrate how the actions and behaviors of these clubs reveal the perceptions each region holds of themselves and each other.


Civic and Community Engagement | European Languages and Societies | International Relations | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature | Sports Studies


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