This article focuses on the reasons why the attempt to achieve the end of ETA's violence in the Basque Country during the mid- to late-1990s was unsuccessful when compared to the IRA's case in Northern Ireland. It argues that the different roles played by Basque and Irish nationalism in that decade and the distortion of the Irish model by Basque nationalist parties and the terrorist organization ETA were decisive in this outcome. The radicalisation of constitutional nationalism in the Basque region, as opposed to the constitutionalisation of radical nationalism that was a key factor in the achievement of the consensus enshrined in the 1998 Belfast Agreement, contributed to the continuation of terrorism. Contrary to the spirit of this Agreement, Basque nationalists moved away from an existing consensus with non nationalist parties around the principle of full development of the Basque autonomy strengthening ETA's will to carry on with their campaign.
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