Lucía Payero López


working in Subproject 6 – Regional Federalism


Dr Lucía Payero-López is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Oviedo. She joined the Neo-Federalism project in January 2015, while she was a visiting researcher at Durham Law School. In her PhD thesis (2014, University of Oviedo), she made a legal and political analysis of the right of national self-determination and the 1978 Constitution of Spain.



Dr Payero’s research interests lie in the fields of Legal Philosophy, Political Theory and Constitutional Theory. She has published many articles and book chapters on issues relating to self-determination of peoples, devolution in Spain and the United Kingdom, federal theory, nationalism, constitutionalism, transitional justice, citizenship and migration.


Neo-Federalism project

As a member of the Neo-Federalism project, working on Subproject 6 – Regional Federalism, ‘Dr. Payero’s research concentrates on Spanish regionalism, Catalan and Scottish self-determination, secession, and federal theory. She is particularly interested in the accommodation of national minorities within democratic states, such as Spain and the UK. Tensions between centrifugal and centripetal tendencies within plurinational states may lead to their disintegration. That is why the development of strategies to deal with territorial claims becomes so urgent. Options range from the recognition of a right to national self-determination, including the possibility to secede, the negotiation of a new territorial arrangement, which may adopt a federal nature, wider devolution, or a recentralisation of the state. For the analysis of all these aspects, Dr Payero uses a multidisciplinary approach (Public Law, Political Theory, Socio-Legal Studies) and a comparative perspective (Spain, UK, Canada).



Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Why Catalonia Cannot Self-Determine? The Reasons of the Spanish State’ (in French). Cahiers de civilization espagnole contemporaine (forthcoming).

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Constitutional Essentialism: The Use of the Spanish Constitution to Defend National Unity’ (in Spanish). Oñati Socio-Legal Series 6 (3), 2016, pp. 726-748.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘The Right of Self-Determination in Spain: A Brief Account for Ashtonished Aliens and Unsuspected Nationals’ (in Spanish). Revista d’Estudis Autonòmics i Federals 23, 2016, pp. 46-79.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘The Right of National Self-Determination: A Human Right?’ (in Spanish). Cuadernos Electrónicos de Filosofía del Derecho 32, 2015, pp. 93-110.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘The “Citizen Participation Process in Catalonia”: Past, Present and Future’. Liverpool Law Review 36 (3), 2015, pp. 237-256.


Book chapters

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘A Federal Theory for Spain in the 21st Century’ (in Spanish). In M.V. Álvarez & J.L. Castro (eds.) Derecho, Política y Sociedad. Contribuciones de Jóvenes Investigadores. Madrid: Bubok (forthcoming).

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Why Catalonia Cannot Self-Determine? The Reasons Given by the Spanish State’ (in Spanish). In J. Cagiao & G. Ferraiuolo (coords.) El encaje constitucional del derecho a decidir. Un enfoque polémico. Madrid: Los Libros de la Catarata, 2016, pp. 183-217.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Olivier Beaud’s Theory of Federation and its Application to the Spanish Political Context’ (in Spanish). In M.V. Álvarez & J.L. Castro (eds.) Derecho, Filosofía y Sociedad. Una perspectiva multidisciplinar. Santiago de Compostela: Andavira, 2016, pp. 51-66.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘The Clash between Two National Conceptions: A Unitary Spain vs. a Plural Spain’ (in Spanish). In M. Calvo García, F. Arlettaz & J. Gracia Ibáñez (eds.) Derecho y Sociedad. Reflexiones sobre Sociología Jurídica, Filosofía del Derecho y Derechos Humanos. Zaragoza: Universidad de Zaragoza, 2014, pp. 10-27.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Catalonia and the Right of National Self-Determination’ (in Spanish). In V. de Carvalho (ed.) El Derecho y sus razones: aportaciones de jóvenes investigadores. Madrid: Bubok, 2013, pp. 35-43.




Cañizares, María José: ‘Independence explained to an alien’ (in Spanish). Crónica Global 21 May 2016.


Conference papers

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Federalism in Multinational States: An Alternative to Secession? The Case of Spain.’ ICON-S 2016 Conference ‘Borders, Otherness and Public Law’. Humboldt University (Berlin), 2016.

Payero-López, Lucía & Nimni, Ephraim: ‘From Minority Recognition to Minority Representation in Plurinational States, Overcoming the Liberal Democratic Deficit. The Case of Spain.’ International Symposium ‘Ethno-cultural Diversity and Human Rights – Taking Stock and Looking Ahead’. University of Liverpool, 2016.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Nationalist Discourses and the European Refugee Crisis’. 26th ASEN Annual Conference ‘Nationalism, Migration and Population Change’. LSE, 2016.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Federalism and Spain’. Workshop – ‘The United Kingdom: “Federalism” within and without.’ Durham Law School, 2015.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘A Philosophical Basis for the Right of National Self-Determination.’ UPF Conference in Legal Theory & Moral and Political Philosophy. University Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), 2015.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘Who is the demos in Spain? Two possible answers and their consequences for Catalan demands of self-determination.’ Staff Seminar Series. Durham Law School, 2015.

Payero-López, Lucía: A Nation-State or a Multination State? National Conceptions, Minorities and Self-Determination in Spain.’ British Council Researcher Links Workshop: ‘New Modalities for Democratic Autonomy for Minorities that Do Not Entail Dismembering States: The Case of the Republic of Turkey.’ Ankara, 2015.

Payero-López, Lucía: ‘The Right of National Self-Determination: A Human Right?’ (in Spanish). XXV Jornadas de Filosofía Jurídica y Política: ‘Nuevo Derecho, Nuevos Derechos.’ UNED (Madrid), 2015.