- Basque violence: a reappraisal of culturalist explanations
- European Journal of Sociology
- Volume | Issue number
- 49 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
David Laitin has explained the occurrence of Basque and Georgian nationalist violence as the outcome of language revival in a bilingual setting and a specific locale. Based on game theory, he has suggested that violence, as a rational nationalist strategy, will increasingly be used if specific thresholds levels in language choice for education are met. A critical reappraisal of his approach is made in which the conceptual and methodological limits to the empirical testing are highlighted. Subsequently, an extensive dataset of Basque municipalities in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country is used to statistically verify Laitin’s model by multivariate analysis. In some areas of the Basque Country Laitin’s model seems to fit while in others not. With the help of both quantitative and qualitative data, alternative explanations for Basque ethnic violence are explored.
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