The Catalan dream of independence

Mads Tregub Saltoft Wiegell, Aske Strandbygaard Frandsen, Ervin Sarvan & Kasper Julius Tindbæk

Student thesis: Bachelor project


The orientation towards independence has become a growing tendency among the many ethnic minorities in the countries of Europe. Here the Spanish region of Catalonia has become the center of attention in its peoples quest for seeking more than a Statute of Autonomy.

Through a comparative case study design, this thesis investigates the conflict in Catalonia, highlighting the effects of language on the national identity of university students in cities of Barcelona and Vic. Furthermore, the thesis investigates whether the Catalan language used in the educational institutions of Catalonia, has significance for the desire for independence. The theoretical foundation of this investigation is nation-building and related theories in nationalism.

The thesis concludes that the Catalan language is a substantial factor, both for the desire to gain independence and the people’s sense of national identity. Case Barcelona suggests that language has the greatest impact on the desire for independence, whereas Case Vic suggests that language has the greatest impact on the national identity.

The Catalan national identity is considered to be high, seeing that Montserrat Guibernau’s five dimensions of national identity are all fulfilled – to which the educational system is seen as a significant facilitator. In spite of this, Raphael Utz’s three criteria for nation-building are not sufficiently met, leaving the question of the Catalonian independence open-ended.

EducationsPolitics and Administration, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Bachelor
Publication date27 May 2019
Number of pages69
SupervisorsKennet Lynggaard