Impact of peace movements on a society immersed in conflict. An analysis of the framing processes of the Basque peace movement.
AuthorAnton, Egoitz G.
SupervisorChesters, Graeme S.
Social movement impacts
Basque Civil Society Organizations
Basque Peace Frame
Collective action frames
The University of Bradford theses are licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentDepartment of Peace Studies
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AbstractThe Basque conflict has waged since the 1950s in its current form. However, with the arrival of democracy 36 years ago, the Basque Country has been the scene of an intense peace mobilization, dominated by two peace organizations: Gesto por la Paz, a group of community organizations that mobilize to publicly reject political violence, and Lokarri/Elkarri, an organization that includes a conflict resolution proposal based on dialogue between conflicting parties. While there is some literature on these organizations, none has analysed their extraordinary impact on Basque society. This research explores how the Basque peace movement has impacted on the social and political culture of the Basque conflict. It seeks to understand the nature of this impact and to determine the channels and methods by which it was achieved, using frame analysis. Three interlinked questions serve to guide the research, asking first if there is a Basque Peace Frame and if it could be considered a master frame, how this Basque Peace Frame has evolved, and, finally, how the Basque Peace Frame has impacted on other Basque Civil Society Organizations related to the conflict. This qualitative research spans the period between the March 2006 declaration of ceasefire by ETA and the end of fieldwork for this research in September 2008. The research includes 18 in depth interviews, written media, and analysis of seven notable Basque social organizations related to the conflict, in addition to the two peace organizations mentioned above. The research found the impact of the Basque peace movement in the Basque Country is significant and rich. The Basque Peace Frame developed based on the rejection of the use of violence as a political tool and identifies that violence as the main barrier to achieving an inclusive conflict resolution. The Basque peace movement organizations developed a specific kind of mobilization to enforce the Basque Peace Frame based on silent and symbolic acts. The objective was to counter the former dynamics of mobilization that were contentious and directed to promote Basque national rights. The Basque Peace Frame proposed a change in the way the political collective identity was constructed in the Basque Country, showing that an association between nationalism and violence is not obligatory. The Basque Peace Frame has evolved and spread between social organizations in the Basque Country, using sympathetic identity networks as the main channel of frame diffusion. Even organizations that did not reject the use of contentious methods of protest are now questioning the use of violence, signifying exciting prospects for the future of non-violent political action in the Basque Country.
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