The Catalan case on trial

The making of heroic leadership on a courtroom stage


  • Joan Esculies


During the 20th century, several outstanding Catalan politicians became famous after being judged in court. Their trial experience was crucial for the later development of their successful careers. Taking full advantage of the political nature of their court cases, all succeeded in presenting themselves as heroes and/or martyrs of the Catalan cause against Spanish governmental oppression. All subsequently became, or already were, presidents of Catalan autonomous rule: Enric Prat de la Riba, Francesc Macià, Lluís Companys and Jordi Pujol. With a comparative approach, the author attempts to show how politicians have used trials as a stage or as a public platform to gain popularity.

Author Biography

Joan Esculies

Joan Esculies Serrat is doctor in History at the Pompeu Fabra University (2012), with a study on Josep Tarradellas, a key figure in Catalan politics. He has published many articles on radical Catalan nationalism and the parallels between Catalanism and other nationalisms. He publishes in mainstream media as well. Esculies is also a member of Grup de Recerca en Estats, Nacions i Sobiranies (GRENS ).



How to Cite

Esculies, J. (2015). The Catalan case on trial: The making of heroic leadership on a courtroom stage. Studies on National Movements (SNM), 3. Retrieved from