Behavioural Note

This year TSE Behavioural Team is going from strength to strength, with the team working on four different projects in the first semester alone. We have also officially registered as a student association, securing our long term future as well as growing from five members to almost 20. We are constantly on the look-out for new talented and creative (or even just curious!) students, so if you are interested in joining us be sure to get in touch!

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Caption competition

The new photos are out for the next round of the caption competition. We want your best and funniest captions for the photos below, there is a prize for the best caption. Remember to send your suggestions to the.tseconomist@gmail.com or comment the photos on our Facebook page. Good luck!

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The road to independence: understanding the Catalan conflict

What is Catalonia?

Catalunya, or Catalonia, is a nation, home to the Catalans. It is currently an autonomous community under the Kingdom of Spain. Home to 7.5 million people, and with a GDP of 204 billion Euros, it is comparable in size to European countries such as Finland or Denmark.

Over the last few years the Catalan independence movement has grown strong, not only in the streets where pacific pro-independence demonstrations have reached two million people for several years, but also in the institutions where a 62% independentist majority has been the driving force of the institutional push for independence.

In this article, I will try to set a foundation for understanding the power dynamics that started the conflict, so one can follow the current discussions, as well as giving some inside perspective on how the last few weeks have developed.

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The Catalonian Referendum and the Struggle of Democracy

No one putting a foot in Barcelona can get away from Catalan culture. No one can skip the “calçots -with their sauce, please-”, la “sardana”, the “Castells” and the many other things that differentiate Catalonia from the rest of Spain. Yet, no one that goes to Galicia could miss Galician, or miss a “Queimada”. No one going to Andalusia could miss the different accent, nor the “feria de Abril”, or the “migas de la alpujarra.” Evidently there is no such thing as a homogeneous Spanish culture. As Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the opposition, said just a few weeks ago, it is a “nation of nations.” Though this might be disputed by many, no one can deny that Spain is formed by regions, or autonomous communities, as is stated in the constitution. These regions have their own voice in education and public health, some even have their own regional police (Mossos or the ertzaintza) and many have substantial control over tax revenues. Yet these regional powers are not universal and vary considerably. Certainly, there are a number of regions that match the Oxford Dictionary definition of nationhood: “A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory.” No one that knows about the Iberian history could rightfully deny this, though of course some of them will.

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