Pathways out of violence: Desecuritization and legalization of Bildu and Sortu in the Basque Country

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Abstract

In this article, I examine political processes leading to the legalization of the Batasuna-successor parties, Bildu and Sortu. I apply the concept of desecuritization - a process by which an issue moves from the field of ‘emergency politics’ and ‘existential threat’ into the normal bargaining process of the public sphere - to analyse the legalization process. Desecuritization frames replaced, at least in the judicial, but also to some extent in the political spheres, a securitized framing of the organizations of the Basque Nationalist Left as integral to the terrorist organization ETA and as a threat to the democratic community. I argue that desecuritization processes analysed here have had important consequences in terms of the Nationalist Left’s modes of engagement in institutional politics since ETA’s 2011 ceasefire. In addition to abandoning political violence, desecuritization processes taking the form of what Hansen describes as ‘change through stabilization’ facilitated the adoption of more conventional political practices, such engagement in parliamentary politics and cooperation with other parties.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
Vol/bind17
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)45-66
ISSN1617-5247
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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