The Aug. 17 terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, in Catalonia, have reminded Spaniards of the horror of this type of political violence. From 1959-2011, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), a Basque terrorist organization, carried out hundreds of attacks (killing 829 people), aimed at forcing the creation of a separate Basque state.
ETA completely disarmed in 2017, but Spain was also the target of al-Qaeda bomb attacks on four Madrid commuter trains in March 2004, right before national elections that led to the Socialist Party victory against the incumbent party, the Partido Popular (PP).
Do terrorist attacks shake up voters?
Will the 2017 attack lead to political fallout for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s PP? Will it change support for the Catalan regional government led by Carles Puigdemont? While ETA, al-Qaeda and ISIS are different actors with different goals, our research on the political consequences of ETA terrorist attacks can give us a clue as to how Spaniards might react to the latest attacks.
In a recent paper, we examine the impact of a series of ETA terrorist attacks that took place while Spain’s leading survey organization (Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas) was conducting interviews around the country to assess citizens’ …read more
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