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  • THE RISE OF SUBNATIONAL

    INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS IN FRANCE

    ___________________________________________

    Explaining subnationalism in France:

    Brittany as a case study

    29th of July 2016

    AUGEREAU Fanny

  • Development and International Relations 29th of July 2016

    Aalborg University

    ABSTRACT

    Why did a national movement emerge in Brittany? Seeking to answer this question, the paper

    examines the root causes of subnationalism in a now globalized world in which the progress toward

    a Europe of Regions as opposed to a Europe of States has encouraged the emergence or a re-birth of

    subnational movements. France represents an interesting case as, despite a process of

    decentralization in 1982, it remains unwilling to accommodate demands for more linguistic and

    administrative autonomy to its regions. Complementary, Brittany is an interesting analytical choice

    for its particular sociological and geographical features.

    The methodological framework applied in the paper is constructed around a causal research design

    in which theoretical frames are distinguished; one emphasizing the importance of the language, the

    other the importance of a fascist component and the last one the importance of a socialist turn.

    Nonetheless, they all revolve around a Marxist approach in which the importance is given to the

    representation of particular social classes. After translating these two frames into separate

    hypotheses, both are tested against an empirical foundation consisting of qualitative set of data.

    Twenty interviews were carried around Brittany with members of Breton nationalist political parties

    in order to analyze their motivations and attitudes: the party Adsav Breizh established in 2000, a

    far-right party based on a nationalism doctrine, the Breton Party established in 2002, a centrist

    party that gives primacy to Brittany's political independence and eschews the traditional left-

    wing/right-wing distinction and the party Breizhistance established in 2009, a far-left party based

    on a struggle for national liberation.

    The paper points to the relevance of applying theories from authors that have written about

    nationalism before 1950 in a current Breton context as similar characteristics can be found.

    Furthermore, this paper concludes that the two hypotheses are both partially explaining the root

    causes of Breton nationalism. However, nationalist movement as a mean of gaining personal

    interests presents only weak explanatory power while an important emphasis is given to explaining

    nationalism as a way to protect an existing community.

    Giving legitimacy to the two working hypotheses, nonetheless, should not prevent researcher to

    seek further explanatory factors. Nationalism cannot be seen as homogeneous and each nationalism

    is constitutional of e.g a period or geographic situation.

    Keystrokes: 2 520.

    Fanny Augereau, student number: 20141714 Page 2 of 210

  • Development and International Relations 29th of July 2016

    Aalborg University

    TABLE OF CONTENT

    ABSTRACT........................................................................................................................................2

    LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS.............................................................................................................5

    INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................................7

    THE BRETON MOVEMENT........................................................................................................10

    METHODOLOGY...........................................................................................................................16

    Research design...........................................................................................................16

    Empirical foundation...................................................................................................18

    THEORETICAL CHAPTER..........................................................................................................20

    A closer look at the concepts........................................................................................20

    1.The concept of nation:..................................................................................................20

    2.The concept of nationalism:.........................................................................................23

    Theories explaining national movements.....................................................................28

    1.Linguistic nationalism:.................................................................................................29

    2.Ethnic-nationalism:......................................................................................................31

    3.Socialist-nationalism:...................................................................................................32

    From theories explaining nationalism to manageable hypothesis................................33

    OPERATIONALIZATION..............................................................................................................35

    ANALYSIS: EMPIRICAL DATA...................................................................................................37

    Sociological profiles: some statistics...........................................................................37

    1.Social class...................................................................................................................40

    2.Age and religion...........................................................................................................41

    3.Language......................................................................................................................42

    Fanny Augereau, student number: 20141714 Page 3 of 210

  • Development and International Relations 29th of July 2016

    Aalborg University

    4.Geographic dispersion.................................................................................................42

    5.Conclusion....................................................................................................................43

    Rational-choice based or anti-modern attitudes and motivations?...............................44

    1.Language......................................................................................................................54

    2.History..........................................................................................................................55

    3.Hostility toward the French state.................................................................................56

    4.Migratory menace........................................................................................................58

    5.Social demands.............................................................................................................59

    6.Market oriented economic program.............................................................................60

    7.Conclusion....................................................................................................................62

    ANALYSIS: REFLEXION ON THEORIES.................................................................................63

    Marxist theories...........................................................................................................63

    Rational-choice based movement.................................................................................64

    Anti-modern movement firmly rooted in protecting an existing community...............65

    BIBLIOGRAPHY.............................................................................................................................69

    APPENDIX.......................................................................................................................................74

    Document 1: questionnaire..........................................................................................74

    Document 2: nomenclature PCS..................................................................................80

    Document 3: complete list of works............................................................................81

    Document 4: transcriptions..........................................................................................92

    Document 5: territorial structure hypothesis and its indicators..................................204

    1. Education..................................................................................................................204

    2. Agricultural production and market oriented...........................................................206

    3. Social communication...............................................................................................209

    Fanny Augereau, student number: 20141714 Page 4 of 210

  • Development and International Relations 29th of July 2016

    Aalborg University

    LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

    AEFB: Association des Elus Progressistes de Bretagne.

    AMAP: Association pour le Maintien de l'Agriculture Paysanne.

    BEP: Brevet dducation Professionnelle.

    CAB: Comit dAction pour la Bretagne.

    CALB: Comit dAction pour la Langue Bretonne.

    CELIB: Comit dEtude et de Liaison des Intrts Breto