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Dr William A. Douglas 






William A DouglasWilliam A. Douglass (Reno, Nevada, 1939) graduated as a Doctor in Social Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1967. That same year he took charge of the Programme of Basque Studies at the University of Nevada –Reno UNR. He spent thirty-three years in this post until retirement at the end of 1999.

He has published a round twenty books and some one hundred articles including “Terror and Taboo: The follies, fables and faces of terrorism (with Joseba Zulaika, 1996), and “Death in Murelaga: The social signifance of funerary ritual in a Spanish Basque village (1969)”.

He has also written on such important subjects as Migration or Ethnonationalism not to mention the biography of his father, “Tap dancing on Ice: Jack Douglass (1996) and a book on fishing, “Casting about in the Reel World (2002).

Douglass has received various awards and recognition for his many works. Among these, for example in 1984 he was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the UPV- EHU. In 1989 he was named on the Honours List of the group of Basque Studies Society of America. In 1998 he was made an Honorary member of the Academia de la Lengua Vasca.

In 1999 not only did he receive the award for the “Leading Researcher “of the year, from the University of Nevada – Reno, but was also awarded the prize for “Best Professor”. That same year he was presented with the prize of “Lagun Onari “by the Basque Government. Also for the last four years a research grant carrying his name “William A. Douglass – Top Visiting Professor “has been in place, created by an initiative of the Centre for Basque Studies at Reno and the Basque Government.

Nowadays (2008) he is Coordinator Emeritus of Basque Studies at the University of Nevada – Reno.

In this text, however, the biographical and professional side of William A. Douglass has taken on a new dimension. Here Douglass explains his role in the work carried out in the search for a solution to the Basque problem, that is to say, the negotiations, the ups and downs of the process for which he was personally chosen by The Henri Dunant Centre (in Geneva), to instigate Humanitarian Talks. He refused the initial request but the second time they asked he accepted, and he goes on to explain his visits to the Basque Country, the meeting with the then Prime Minister Ibarretxe, the cover-ups, the talks he held with Basques on both sides of the conflict, the contacts with ETA, the role of the Geneva office, the ETA ceasefire, the talks in Loiola and the steps taken from autumn2003 to the spring of 2004.

The contract signed with the Henri Dunant Centre meant he had to remain silent for a lengthy period of time. Now that this time has passed, the anthropologist has come to reveal the truth through a direct interview conducted on 20th September 2008.

The son of Jack Douglass, he is married to Jan and has a our son and grandchildren.



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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024