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Endgame for ETA: Elusive Peace in the Basque Country

Past Event

The violent Basque separatist group ETA took shape in Franco's Spain, yet claimed the majority of its victims under democracy. For most Spaniards it became an aberration, a criminal and terrorist band whose persistence defied explanation. Others, mainly Basques (but only some Basques) understood ETA as the violent expression of a political conflict that remained the unfinished business of Spain's transition to democracy. Such differences hindered efforts to 'defeat' ETA's terrorism on the one hand and 'resolve the Basque conflict' on the other for more than three decades.

This discussion will address questions explored by Teresa Whitfield in her new book, Endgame for ETA: Elusive Peace in the Basque Country.  What led ETA to last so long?  And what factors contributed to its decision to end its violence in 2011? What is ETA, and where is the Basque conflict, today? Are there lessons from the Basque experience that may be relevant elsewhere?

The discussion will be introduced and chaired by Andy Carl, Executive Director of Conciliation Resources


Teresa Whitfield is a Fellow of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation and the author of Paying the Price: Ignacio Ellacuría and the Murdered Jesuits of El Salvador and Friends Indeed? Groups of Friends, the United Nations and the Resolution of Conflict, in addition to Endgame for ETA.

Jonathan Powell is the Chief Executive of Inter Mediate; as Chief of Staff to Tony Blair he was the lead British government negotiator on Northern Ireland 1997-2007. He is the author of Great Hatred Little Room: Negotiating Peace in Northern IrelandThe New Machiavelli: How to wield power in the modern world and Talking to Terrorists, How to End Armed Conflict, which will be published in October.

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