The politics of war memory in radical Basque nationalism

Diego Muro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines how war memory has been appropriated, interpreted and domesticated by radical Basque nationalism. The so-called patriotic left presents an interesting case study because of its need to justify ETA's use of unconventional methods and political violence. The politics of war memory places violent conflicts in a historical continuum where Basques and Spaniards stand against each other. The memory of the Carlist Wars, the Spanish Civil War and ETA's violent campaign are all used both as an ethnic boundary between Basques and Spaniards and as a powerful mobilizing agent. The conflict between the Basque insurgents and the Spanish state is celebrated as a narrative of heroic past wars and redemptive sacrifices, hence removing the need to reflect on the usefulness of the armed struggle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number791913618
Pages (from-to)659-678
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Memory
  • nationalism
  • violence
  • Spain
  • Basque
  • ETA


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