The objective of the study "Partidismo y (des)lealtad federal en el Estado autonómico español", by Javier Martínez-Cantó, professor and researcher at the University of Konstanz, is to explain how the great costs of the institutional reform of the autonomous state can be one of the factors that have facilitated the rise of independence. This is a long and multivariate process, which can be explained by changes in the preferences of political elites and voters or by the interaction between the two. In addition, civil society organizations play a particularly relevant role as intermediaries between the two.
Specifically, the study aims to analyze how some of the institutional factors may partially explain why the movement has grown so rapidly. In other words, how the low credibility of an institutional reform of the autonomous State promoted from Catalonia has been a more determining factor than the high costs and the difficulty of declaring independence. The fundamental thesis throughout this essay is that the deficient institutional design of the autonomous state seriously hinders the possibilities of reform, in addition to granting privileges to a group of actors –the parties that occupy the central government–, for almost contextual reasons. This makes it difficult for the institutional system to accept demands for change, both in relation to specific policies and at the institutional level, and, therefore, to be able to reform itself. The system does not foresee an institutionalized way to respond to these demands and to channel the political conflict. On the contrary, political demands have tended to be channeled through informal mechanisms, such as inter-party channels or parliamentary negotiations. This is not limited to reforming the autonomous state in a more federal sense, but to other public policies that can be reformed in a federal sense without changing the constitutional text, such as the autonomous financing system or the distribution of infrastructure investments in a territorialized way .