Financial issues are very often behind political conflicts between or within territories. However, conflicts are not limited to the territorial allocation of resources. Three factors appear to have a decisive influence: the distribution of political power between the central and the territorial government (federal/unitary model); the economic conception of the territory prevailing in central institutions (multipolar/radial conception); and the degree of territorial diversity and the existence of «national» minorities. The analysis of the Catalan- Spanish conflict along these three dimensions allows us to reach some preliminary conclusions, which should be tested by further empirical work. The first conclusion is that - when markedly opposite preferences exist between territories concerning the issue of more or less decentralization - the only stable agreement is some kind of specific settlement with this specific territory. The second conclusion is that a federal model appears to be intrinsically incompatible with a radial, centre-based conception of the country.