The 1-O that recalled Franco

The Civil War and Dictatorship in Parties’ accounts of the 2017 ’Catalan crisis’


  • Aune Sanz Tampere University, Finland


Collective memory, Catalan crisis, Catalan independence movement, Franco, the Spanish Civil War, memory in conflicts, frame analysis


The Catalan Independence referendum in 2017 (1-O), and the events following it, launched a political crisis unparalleled to anything in Spain during the last decades. The relationship between the central state and Catalonia is affected by interpretations and recollections of past events: the past motivates action, evaluates them, and outlines the collective the recaller belongs to. Collective memory can significantly complicate conflict resolution.
To understand the complex link between memory and conflict, this study examines how the memory of the Civil War and Franco was present in regional politicians’ statements from the time. In total 622 online articles from 2017 were collected from the six regional parties, covering campaigning before the referendum, declaration of independence, and the regional elections.  The interpretations of current issues mimic collective memories, leaning on their assumptions. The recollections of independentists were more detailed, focusing on the Second Republic, the Civil War, Franco, and memory politics. Constitutionalists directed the attention towards Basque nationalism and the coup of 23-F, praising the transition. Both nations were defined using memory, and all accuse the opponents of being Francoist. The main distinction lies in how connected the current Spanish state is to its Francoist past, and what today’s independentists and Basque nationalists have in common.

Author Biography

Aune Sanz, Tampere University, Finland

Aune Sanz graduated with a Master of Social Sciences from Tampere University’s Master’s Degree Programme in Peace, Conflict and Mediation Research in 2021. During her studies she focused on civil wars, everyday peace, conflict resolution, and the media’s relationship with globalization. She has participated in research projects involving extremist narratives in the Finnish mainstream media and interned at the Åland Islands Peace Institute and at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU in Brussels. This article is based on her master’s thesis of the same title.




How to Cite

Sanz, A. (2022). The 1-O that recalled Franco: The Civil War and Dictatorship in Parties’ accounts of the 2017 ’Catalan crisis’. Journal of Autonomy and Security Studies, 6(2), 53–95. Retrieved from