2125  Oñati Session I - The Local and its Multidimensionality

Room: C3.01


In this session we bring together studies that have Oñati in common, assumed herein not only as a shared academic foundation and an enrich personal experience for all Onati Session’s participants but as a site worth of study itself, where the town’s particular interests and cultural and economic dynamics are uncovered to reveal a multidimensionality that opens up the town to far-reaching connections and intersections.


Chair: Gabriela Farinha | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL

Ihintza Palacin Mariscal | European University Institute

Basque speakers and their linguistic rights: (dis)empowerment by law





Basque language survives along in the Franco-Spanish border, attracting the curiosity of various scholars. This minority language is the common thread of my socio-legal research at the European University Institute. Interestingly, Basque language is spoken in two states (France and Spain) and three administrative regimes (one located in France, and two located in Spain). The division of Basque language into several legal regimes also carries a fragmented level of protection, deeply affecting the life of its speakers. This research explores the interactions between law and Basque speakers inside an eclectic legal framework. In fact, the fragmentation of the protection of Basque language brings numerous questions to be asked: does law restrain or empower Basque speakers? Do Basque speakers have a say in the domain of their linguistic rights? This paper will take into account not only the mobilization of Basque speakers, but also the legal framework of Basque language: the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Spanish and French Constitutions, public policies on education and media… Simultaneously, it will focus also on the conversations between the different legal regimes as well as the different speakers’ mobilization.

R. Leopoldo Cruz Balbuena | Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Conceptions of Freedom in the Use of the Open Public Space: The Foruen Enparantza in Oñati as an Illustration


Full Paper




Freedom is a mantle that covers all aspects of existence. Just as on a cold winter night, its absence is noticeable. But not only in the absolute absence of freedom must we think of it. Neither should we think of freedom in binary terms (there is or is not). Freedom is much more than a concept, we live, enjoy, exhaust, and suffer it. Freedom carries responsibility in the realm of the inner and especially in the public realm. This work suggests the study of freedom in the realm of the public and seeks to link it with the place where freedom is exercised. And being the public freedom the object of study of this work, I will review the great minds that studied it before, the norms that regulate it and the perception of the individuals that live in the town of Oñati. This dissertation unveils the amount, size, color, and texture of the Oñati idea of freedom.

Patara McKeen | Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law

Pakistani Migration and Integration in the Basque Country: A Case Study of Oñati.




This paper examines the social, economic, and political factors influencing Oñati’s policy towards Pakistani migrants. What must be understood is that Oñati is a truly unique locale in the Basque Country; a place livened by its passionate communities, linked together through a rich and vibrant history, that, in turn, encapsulate an extraordinary way of life. Yet, decades of political strife, violence, and ensuing period of globalisation have altered its social makeup. In Spain, where a national legal and political framework regulates the control of migration, the Autonomous Region of the Basque Country approaches migration through social mechanism of integration at the regional and municipal level. The effect is empowering local communities, such as Oñati, to organize, supervise, and maintain social programs and policy measures that even sometimes navigate around Spanish national foreigner’s law (Organic Law 4/2000 on Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain and their Social Integration). Therefore, as Oñati undergoes civic transformation, I evaluate how Pakistani migrants conceptualize their status in the municipality.




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