Contemporary Spanish Politics  book cover
3rd Edition

Contemporary Spanish Politics

ISBN 9781138292116
Published December 7, 2017 by Routledge
388 Pages 59 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This fully revised and updated third edition reflects the considerable changes in Spain over the last decade as the country celebrates 40 years of its constitution. The author gives fresh insight into the formal and informal workings of this dynamic southern European democracy. Thoroughly examining Spain’s historical background, political culture, core political institutions and foreign policy-making, each chapter provides a research-based overview of the studied topic which can then be used as the basis for further research by students.

Key themes of the book include:

  • A thorough overview of contemporary Spanish politics, especially the governments of Zapatero and Rajoy;
  • Spain’s political culture and institutional framework;
  • The Spanish economy, and the consequences of the economic and sovereign debt crisis;
  • Foreign policy-making; the reaction to the global anti-terrorist coalition and the Madrid bombings;
  • Policy-making process and the system of interest intermediation;
  • Party system and electoral process;
  • The dynamics of regional/territorial politics and the Basque, Catalan and Galician nationalisms, particularly the quest for Catalan independence;
  • External relations with the European Union, the Mediterranean and Latin America;
  • Constitutional reform;
  • Immigration.

Richly illustrated with maps and presenting large amounts of statistical and quantitative data, this book is an indispensable source of information for students, academics and the wider public interested in Spanish politics.

Table of Contents

1. The transformation of Spanish politics: a review of the historical legacy

2. The main features of contemporary political culture

3. The core Spanish institutions

4. Political parties and elections

5. The dynamics of regional politics

6. Interest groups and civil society

7. A semi-peripheral economy in the European Union

8. The policy-making process: the impact of the European Union

9. Spanish foreign and defence policy within the European Union 

10. The quality of democracy in Spain: some concluding remarks

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José M. Magone is Professor in Regional and Global Governance at the Berlin School of Economics, Germany. Among his publications are Politics of Southern Europe (2003), The Developing Place of Portugal in the European Union (2004), The New World Architecture (2006), Contemporary European Politics (2010), The Politics of Contemporary Portugal (2014) and The Statecraft of Consensus Democracies (2017). He edited The Routledge Handbook of European Politics (2015) and co-edited Core-Periphery Relations in the European Union (2016).


‘This is exactly what the student of Spanish politics needs. It is the first textbook to take on board the full impact of the global financial crisis and the ensuing recession. There is no other work with such scope and authority.’ - Richard Gillespie, University of Liverpool, UK.

Contemporary Spanish Politics is thoughtful, comprehensive and a pleasure to read. This is the best introduction to the transformation of Spain from authoritarianism to democratic moderation that students and researchers could wish for.’ - Diego Muro, University of St Andrews, UK.

‘José Magone's third edition of Contemporary Spanish Politics provides extensive coverage and analysis of all aspects of political institutions, actors, and processes in Spain. The book's numerous tables and graphs allow readers to engage in their own analysis of major aspects of Spanish politics. Insightful and comprehensive, Contemporary Spanish Politics is not just an outstanding book for classroom instruction, but also serves as an authoritative reference to Spanish politics for students and scholars alike.’ - Kerstin Hamann, University of Central Florida, USA.

‘Magone’s is one of the best introductions and probably the most comprehensive evaluation available of the Spanish political system contemporary developments, successes and failures. Skilfully addressing and weaving together the polity, politics and policies of Spain without neglecting the country’s history and European context, it is a research-based textbook full with factual and empirical content and at the same time theoretically and comparatively informed. The author seems to have read everything there is to read on Spanish politics and society, and manages to strike the difficult balance between going native and going naïve. The new edition presents a lucid, vivid, and up-to-date evaluation of Spanish democracy and our recent predicaments during and after the mid-life and self-esteem crisis of Spanish democracy at forty. Certainly one book one wishes one had written, if one did not lack the well-known encyclopaedic skills and knowledge of Magone as a comparativist. I am very confident that this third edition will confirm it as an essential reference for both students and scholars and as a key teaching tool in Spanish politics. I believe it deserves a wide readership and I keep recommending it.’ - César Colino, UNED, Joint editor-in chief, Spanish Journal of Political Science, Spain.