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Iberian ModalitiesA Relational Approach to the Study of Culture in the Iberian Peninsula$
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Joan Ramon Resina

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318337

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318337.001.0001

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Asymmetry and the Political: Paradigms for a Cultural History of the Iberian Twentieth Century

Asymmetry and the Political: Paradigms for a Cultural History of the Iberian Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.129) Chapter Eight Asymmetry and the Political: Paradigms for a Cultural History of the Iberian Twentieth Century
Source:
Iberian Modalities
Author(s):

Ulrich Winter

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846318337.003.0009

This chapter argues that in the twentieth century the Iberian peninsula was a space of asymmetric relations of cultures and nations differing in status, power, and size. Two axes of asymmetry are distinguished: asymmetrical multinationalism and asymmetries between ideological and cultural identifications. Asymmetry and the notion of the political, understood as an irreducible “agonism” (Mouffe) between two parties, represent epistemological and hermeneutic keys to specifically (though not exclusively) Iberian cultural phenomena. Based on historical examples like guerrilla warfare and contemporary political culture (the controversy surrounding the papeles de Salamanca (2005-2006), the article shows how the cultural and political experiences of asymmetry create asymmetric knowledge and identity narratives. Finally, the article discusses proven avenues for achieving a lasting settlement of asymmetry-based conflicts as for example recognition, dialogue or friendship, and highlights the critical role the dialectical “figure of the third” plays in these processes.

Keywords:   Iberian studies, 20th century, asymmetry, politics, political culture, agonism, recognition, figure of the third, guerrilla, Spain

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