Spanish Politics: Democracy after Dictatorship
July 2008, Polity
In this book, Omar Encarnación shows how a post-transition settlement, anchored on inter-party consensus and collaboration, made possible Spain's smooth transition from authoritarian to democratic rule, a string of stable governments from the Center, Left and Right, a modern and competitive economy, and a new national multi-cultural identity.
Each chapter in the book is devoted to a different aspect of the
post-transition settlement, from its origins in the political
traumas of Spanish history, to its implications for the evolution
of the party system, the state, civil society and the economy, and
finally, the consequences of its deterioration under the socialist
administration of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
Controversial policies such as same-sex marriages, negotiations with the Basque terrorist organization ETA, expanded powers to regional governments, and accountability for human rights abuses committed during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime, explain the widespread claim that Zapatero has shattered the political status quo of the post-Franco era.
This book will be essential reading for students and scholars of contemporary Spanish politics and comparative democratization.
List of Tables.
List of Figures.
List of Abbreviations.
Chapter 1. A Post-Transition Settlement.
Chapter 2. Politics and the Lessons of History.
Chapter 3. The Primacy of Democratic Crafting.
Chapter 4. From Contention to Moderation: Party Politics.
Chapter 5. The Dark Side of Consensus? A Civic Deficit.
Chapter 6. A Nation of Nations: De-centralizing the State.
Chapter 7. Growing Pains: The Post-Franco Economy.
Chapter 8. Pinochet’s Revenge: Confronting the Past.
Chapter 9. A Second Transition: Zapatero’s Spain.
- The most comprehensive introductory textbook on contemporary
Spanish politics currently available
- Shows how Spain made a smooth transition from authoritarian to
- Each chapter in the book is devoted to a different aspect of
this process, from its origins in the political traumas of Spanish
history, to its implications for the evolution of the party system,
the state, civil society and the economy
- Analyses the consequences of the socialist administration of
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his controversial
policies such as same-sex marriages and negotiations with the
Basque terrorist organization ETA
- Clear and accessible, this is essential reading for students and scholars of contemporary Spanish politics and comparative democratization
Paul Kennedy, International Affairs
"Nuanced and convincing in its explanation of why Spain became a
European History Quarterly
"Its consistently cogent analysis establishes Spanish
Politics as an invaluable and welcome addition to the
literature on modern Spain."
Political Science Quarterly
"Encarnación has written a lucid, concise and elegant book
about Spanish politics. Theoretically informed and rigorously
comparative, this remarkable study will be of interest to both
Hispanists and democratization scholars."
Diego Muro, King's College London
"Encarnacion convincingly argues that the young Spanish
democracy has reached a level of institutional stability that
allows for policy issues to be hotly debated, adopted, and
implemented, without any fear of a coup d'etat staged by former
supporters of the Franco regime. The progressive reforms adopted by
the left-leaning Zapatero government since 2004 are offered as
evidence of the new democratic stability in Spain; arguably the new
democratic stability will also allow space for conservative forces
to try and undo those reforms in future elections and parliaments.
In the end, Encarnacion leaves the reader with the optimistic
impression that Spanish democracy will remain robust, stable,
transparent, and durable in the years ahead."
Paul Christopher Manuel, New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College
"Omar Encarnacion's vivid and comprehensive analysis of Spain's
post-Franco democracy provides a highly engaging examination of the
country's politics which serves as a fine introduction to Western
Europe's fifth largest country while also providing seasoned
observers of Spanish politics and society with much food for
thought. Encarnacion skillfully weaves together an analysis of the
country's present with an examination of its conflictual past and
of historical memory, using this lens to highlight Spain's
successes, paradoxes and disappointments."
Robert M. Fishman, University of Notre Dame