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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > November 2017 > The Catalan crisis

The Catalan crisis

Spain needs to start talking about its national identity

The view from Barcelona: Liam Aldous

Spain is being recklessly marched into another crisis, yet the forthcoming calamity is no arbitrary episode of history. The world is witnessing a sad truth that most Spaniards have known for some time: their leaders aren’t up to the job. Surpassing even their own conventional standards of incompetence, two agitating agendas— orchestrated in Barcelona and Madrid— seem intent on barking their self-serving rhetoric into the wind. Those stuck in the middle are being forced to contemplate two supposedly imminent realities—one promises to usher in a new Mediterranean Arcadia called the Catalan Republic, the other presumes state intervention will magically diffuse the tension on the street. Neither is probable, both seem impossible.

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In Prospect’s November issue: Joris Luyendijk and Stuart Ward try to uncover the way Britain is perceived by Europe and the rest of the world. Luyendijk—who lived in Britain for six years before recently moving back to his native Netherlands—explains that the Brexit vote has shown Europe that Britain needs time alone to find its identity again, while Ward—a native Australian—argues that its Britain’s imperial backstory that stops it from truly understanding what the world thinks of it. Elsewhere in the issue Jeffrey Lewis argues that US foreign policy has helped North Korea develop the nuclear bomb and we explore the effect that the Palestinian museum near Ramallah is having on the creation of a national identity. Also in this issue: Sameer Rahim profiles Armando Iannucci, Joseph Stiglitz on Britain’s tricky political situation.
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