The 2017 Catalan Independence Referendum: Competing Discourses

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The 2017 Catalan Independence Referendum: Competing Discourses

Type: Master thesis
Title: The 2017 Catalan Independence Referendum: Competing Discourses
Author: Wanebo, Noah
Issue Date: 2019-01-31
Keywords: Catalonia
Spain
referendum
Independence
text mining
Puigdemont
nationalism
sub-state
content analysis
discursive institutionalism
Abstract: This thesis analyses competing discourses around the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. Taking a quantitative approach, several distinct text-mining techniques are applied to political speech transcripts and newspaper opinion pieces of pro-independence and pro-union elites in order to identify broad lexical patterns in discourse. These results are then interpreted with the guidance of previous literature and within the theoretical framework of discursive institutionalism. The analysis finds that the most salient patterns are a pro-union emphasis on law and the constitution, and a pro-independence focus on the symbolic imagery produced by the referendum, such as polling stations, ballot boxes, and police violence. The results also find differing representations of the relationship between Catalonia and Spain, and to a lesser degree, the role of Europe within the dynamic. Taken together, these findings illuminate broad discursive strategies employed by both sides of the independence debate as they seek to either provoke or prevent institutional change.
Supervisor: Milevski, LukasMilevski, Lukas
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: International Relations (Master)
Specialisation: Global Conflict in the Modern Era
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/68697
 

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