Nationalism and nostalgia: The case of radical Basque nationalism

Diego Muro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This article argues that the myth of the Golden Age is a key mobilising element within radical Basque nationalism. By using an ethno-symbolist approach, this article argues that nostalgia, a catchword for looking back, usually relates to an idealised past. It then proceeds to explain how ETA in particular has domesticated the past to justify its political violence which is currently exalted as a means of honouring the fighting spirit of their ancestors. From this perspective, violence is presented as a redemptive act that can stop the decay of the Basque nation and bring a new political future in which the inspiring ancient virtues will be rediscovered. This nostalgic gaze upon the past continually 'reminds' radical Basque nationalists of an imaginary, yet familiar, past which can only be regained by using revolutionary violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-589
Number of pages19
JournalNations and Nationalism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


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