Talita Ilacqua (KCL) - 2016-17 Students

Identities and nationalisms in the French Basque Country (1785-1856)

My project researches the relation between national and regional intellectual and cultural identities in the French Basque Country between 1785 and 1856. These are the dates of two international treaties, the Treaty of Elizondo and of Bayonne, which defined the border between France and Spain. These treaties are important because, together with the international aim of rectifying the border, they were meant to put an end to local land disputes between peasants on the two sides of the border. This allows me to analyse the complementary role of high and local politics in the international process of decision-making. I am particularly interested in the different development and understanding of political, cultural and economic ideas in Paris and in the Basque Country, and in the result of the convergence of these ideas in the evolution of Basque identities. The analysis of the reception of nationalising policies in such a problematic region as the Basque country, which still retains today a strong regional identity, will hopefully allow me to raise questions about the success of France’s nationalism, as well as to contribute to the contemporary debate on the growth of regionalisms in Europe.

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