Date(s) - 04/03/2019
8:00 am - 10:00 am

Sands Regency Hotel


If you find you are unable to attend the presentation, please

email Patty at We are charged for no-shows.

Please RSVP for this upcoming National Security Forum Program

Sand’s Regency Hotel Casino

345 N. Arlington

“Human Development and the Basque Experience”

A new model for governing in a rapidly changing world

A Presentation and Discussion With

Juan Jose Ibarretxe Markuartu, PhD
President of the Basque Autonomous Community (1999-2009)
Director of the Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies

April 3rd at The Sands Hotel & Casino

“Our world is complex, with complex problems, complex solutions, profound changes, and massive transformations.” (Juan Jose Ibarretxe, 2015 ‘The Basque Experience: constructing sustainable human development,’ U. Nevada, Reno, Press)

Dr. Juan Jose Ibarretxe Markuartu served as Lehendakari (or President) of the Basque Country from 1999 to 2009. During his tenure he was inspired to develop a new approach to governing, one that transcends the “neoliberalism doctrine” popular in the 20th century, which ties political success to economic productivity. In contrast, his approach to sustainable human development is rooted in balancing social, cultural, environmental ethics ingrained in the Basque People to build a more ethically-based form of self-governance. His vision includes forging partnerships between political entities and the private sector to promote economic productivity with ‘a cultural and moral compass.’

NSF is honored to have Dr. Ibarretxe explain the national security challenges faced by the Basque Community over the years and to discuss his treatise on sustainable human development inspired by the struggles and successes of the Basque People.

“The Basque People – one of the most ancient peoples of Europe – have been able to stay on the cutting edge of progress in Europe. This progress is understood in a particular way as not only economic, but also social progress.” (J.J. Ibarretxe, ‘The Basque Experience’)

Dr. Ibarretxe now serves as Director of the Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies at the University of the Basque Country. He joins us while visiting Reno for a Basque Studies conference at UNR, at the invitation of our own Bill Douglas. His discussion with NSF, with introduction from Bill, will examine aspects of Basque national security that will be surprisingly familiar to us here in the United States even though they stem from the unique history and culture of a European nation.

One area Dr. Ibarretxe will cover is the concept of “nationalism” – a topic made more poignant today with the recent tragic attacks on the mosques in New Zealand. Dr. Ibarretxe sees the rise of one type of nationalism that defines itself by denying the existence or legitimacy of others, inevitably leading to violence and less secure governance. In contrast, a healthy form of nationalism that promotes coordination with (without submission to) others, as providing a sustainable path to achieving national security.

“The challenge to sustainable development in conflict-affected societies is, as it is in the Basque case, to create a ‘triple helix’ structure of economic development, democratic political process, and the creation of security and the shift towards non-violent political engagement.” (Nicola Cobbold, contribution made to “The Basque Case”, March 2011)

For the Basque People, the concept of nationalism has evolved from the armed struggle, led by the separatist group known as ETA, to a non-violent movement for “shared sovereignty” with its French and Spanish neighbors. After turning over its weapons following a 2011 ceasefire, ETA announced its full dissolution in April 2018. The Basque People are now advancing their national aspirations for autonomy from Spain through sustainable and non-violent governance. Maintaining its national identity, while renouncing violence, is helping the Basque Country to advance economically, politically, and culturally.

Juan Jose Ibarretxe Markuartu, PhD, served as Lehendakari, President of the Basque Country from 1999 to 2009. Previously he was Vice-President of the Government, President of Araba Region and May of his hometown, Llodio. He holds a PhD in Economics, presenting his thesis in 2010 entitled “The Basque Case: a comprehensive model of sustainable human development.” President Ibarretxe currently chairs the Agirre Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies at the University of the Basque Country and is a Visiting Professor of Economics at Unversidad Interamericana in Puerto Rico. He has authored numerous publications including, “The Basque Experience: constructing sustainable human development” (University of Nevada, Reno, Press, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-935709-63-3) and holds Honoris Causa Doctorates from universities in Argentina, Georgia, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

A full breakfast will be served ($20 Members, $30 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII Veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee, and conversation. Breakfast service and registration open at 7:45 a.m.

Please RSVP below. Membership forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking HERE. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.


Bookings are closed for this event.