Antonio Cortijo Ocaña (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA) and Vicent Martines (ISIC-IVITRA, University of Alicante, Spain)
Recent political developments in Spain regarding Catalonia have prompted scholars from several disciplines to research the singularity of this region and of the territories of the old Crown of Aragon. Against the backdrop of the pro-independence movement, those in favor and against have insisted on the particularity or commonality of Catalonia and the Països Catalans (Catalan-speaking areas) within the Spanish State. From the Catalan point of view, their singularity is not sufficiently recognized, and respect for their institutions and their autonomy is at stake to the point that many prefer to secede from Spain. Singularity or its absence play a relevant role in the construction of identity, which seems to be key in understanding many Catalans' attitudes towards the central government, a fluid concept that allows for a variety of interpretations.