In this chapter, I will show that the weak establishment of Basque civil society mirrors Spain as a whole. Pérez-Díaz (1993) has interpreted the return of civil society in Spain as a learning process for politicians and their parties, labour unions, employers’ associations and security forces. I will apply his interpretation to Hegoalde. Pérez-Díaz sees Spanish democracy jeopardized by clientelism, party oligarchies, a discrepancy between public discourse and political practice and a growing interference between political class and powerful economic interests (Pérez-Díaz 1993: 43). I will argue that the democratic learning process on a regional scale in the Spanish Basque Country has progressed less than in the rest of Spain and that the dangers for the functioning of democracy are far more serious than elsewhere in Spain. In particular, I will focus on the doubtful quality of civil society in Euskadi, which has contributed to the present stagnation of mobilization from below. Despite ideological differences, the nationalist message has some common core values about the envisaged future of ‘the Basque nation’. However, I will demonstrate that contradictions that emerged concerning the use of violence have divided nationalism, while the gap between political rhetoric and practice has delegitimized Basque nationalism among non-nationalists. I will argue that different conceptualizations of the Basque nation have contributed to the weakness of Basque nationalism. Like Spanish nationalism, Basque nationalism has suffered from ideological incoherence since its invention.