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This paper analyses the process of reform of the Statutes in Spanish Comunidades Autonomas, which began in 2006, in order to stress the role that an identity narrative takes in it. Almost every Statute inserts clauses regarding culture, tradition, historical rights and institutions of the region. After an analysis of some of the main Statutes, the paper focuses on the reasons that have caused this attitude in legal text. In general, identity can be read: as a consequence of the crisis of the National State in favour of local belonging; as a form of reaction toward globalizing process; as a post-materialist value. In the case of Spain all these general causes are present, but the conclusion to which the paper arrives is that identity is played strategically as a tool to obtain more authority. The imitation of the Catalan model, a model of success in obtaining through the years more autonomy by stating ‘reasons of identity’, pushed the other CAs to play this card as well. If this is the main political reason that underlines the reform, the case of Spain is interesting at a more general level to show the pervasive role that regional cultural identity plays in building subnational constitutionalism as a source of legitimization of more powers, and more symbolic strength for the Regions. Rhetoric narratives, such as historical rights (to self government, to a regional legal and justice system, to regional institutions) or the fact of having an autonomous cultural order from the central state, implement the idea of regions as subjects in search of their own constitutional identity often in contrast with the broader constitutional order. In this sense judgment 38/2010 by the Spanish constitutional court took a clear position in this contrast
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Published on Saturday, 07 July 2012 07:17
 
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