Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Restricted Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program

Government and Legal Studies

First Advisor

Laura Henry

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Selinger

Third Advisor

Michael Franz


Ethnoregionalist parties are on the rise in countries across Western Europe and threaten to disrupt the unity of these democracies with their increased demands for independence. This study provides insight into the rise and radicalization of ethnoregionalist parties by examining the electoral performance and territorial positing of these parties in Spain at the regional level. After a thorough literature review and application of a mixed-method approach that entails both a quantitative and case study, this paper identifies the importance of regional identity in the electoral success of these parties. Furthermore, this paper illustrates the manner in which increased devolution and ethnic outbidding incentivizes ethnoregionalist parties to adopt increasingly ambitious territorial demands. Ultimately, this paper contains that the presence of a distinct regional identity allows ethnoregionalis parties to rise and establish themselves as influential actors by promoting themselves as the defenders of that regional identity. In the face of intra-ethnoregionalist party competition and increased devolution, these parties adopt more radical territorial demands in an attempt to retain their ownership over the regional identity and avoid being appeased.

Available for download on Friday, May 20, 2022


Available only to users on the Bowdoin campus.