Dr Paolo Dardanelli to debate whether EU characteristics fuel Catalan-type nationalism

The main themes of a new book on restructuring Europe by the University’s Dr Paolo Dardanelli will form the basis of a panel discussion at Chatham House on Wednesday 7 March at 7.30pm.

For the discussion Dr Dardanelli, a leading authority on federalism, will be joined by Professor Montserrat Guibernau of the University of Cambridge and Professor Sara Hobolt of the London School of Economics. The event will be chaired by Georgina Wright, co-ordinator of Chatham House’s Europe programme.

Dr Dardanelli’s book, entitled Restructuring the European State: European Integration and State Reform (McGill-Queen’s University Press), examines the tension between rising regional nationalism and persistent obstacles to independence, including those posed by the EU framework.

In it he argues that there are certain in-built characteristics of the EU that fuel regional nationalism and, over the last half century, constitutional reforms aimed at devolving powers from central government have transformed the politics of a number of EU member states such as the UK, Spain, Belgium and Italy.

He also argues that the demand for independence in Catalonia – as in Scotland – is often seen as contradicting the drive towards European integration but that in fact it is fueled by it.

The panelists will question what these trends could mean for the future of both the European Union and its constituent nation states.

Dr Paolo Dardanelli

Dr Paolo Dardanelli is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics in Kent’s School of Politics and International Relations.