The return of las dos Españas? : narratives of terror in contemporary Spain

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- This thesis explores narratives of terror in contemporary Spain by taking a multidisciplinary approach, rooted in the disciplinary areas of contemporary Spanish studies and critical terrorism studies. The thesis argues that there is a dialogical and symbiotic relationship between discourses of terrorism and the ritual of contemporary Spanish politics. The thesis posits that two key constituent narratives drive terror related discourses in Spain: the narrative of las dos Espanas and the global metanarrative of terror. I argue that the partisan manipulation of these two narratives in mass-mediated discourse serves to situate terrorism at the centre of Spanish political discourse. As such, terror acts and political violence are vehicles for political parties to project their ideological narratives and sell themselves to the Spanish electorate. I thus consider narratives of terror in Spain as a mass-mediated process that can provide deeper understanding into how narratives of terror are linked to fundamental and historically constituent narratives. Unlike much scholarship on terrorism and terrorism related debates that come from political science, this thesis engages with contemporary Spanish history in an attempt to provide some context and historicity to the tattered narratives that circulate in Spanish mass-mediated discourse. By ignoring history, much scholarship potentially misses the dynamic convergences and disputes of power relations and identity politics, and understanding those convergences are necessary in understanding contemporary Spain. The thesis thus explores selective case studies of terror related events in the Spanish state, including in its panorama the long-running Basque conflict, the GAL scandal in the 1980s, the March 11, 2004, terrorist attacks in Madrid, the peace process between ETA and the Spanish government in 2006 and 2007, as well as the semantics of victims of terror groups. I argue that these terror-related events can, and must, be re-read as traces and links to long-standing historically constituent narratives.
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