Few would have imagined the developments and the extent of reforms that occurred under Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero between 2004 and 2008. Under Zapatero, Spain rapidly withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq, held a very public political debate on the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship, passed very progressive social legislation that included gay marriage and adoption as well as a sweeping gender equality act, and expanded autonomy in six of Spain’s 17 regions. It has become quite common to refer to some or all of these developments as a ‘second transition’ that alters or revisits policies, institutional arrangements and political strategies that were established during Spain’s transition to democracy.
This book analyzes the patterns of continuity and change and provides a nuanced, critical evaluation of the concept of a ‘second transition’. Three broad questions are addressed. First, to what degree do the developments under Zapatero’s Socialist government represent a departure from prior patterns of Spanish politics? Second, what accounts for the continuities and departures? Finally, the project begins to assess the implications of these developments. Are there lasting effects, for example, on political participation, electoral alignments, interparty and inter-regional relations more broadly?
This book was published as a special issue of South European Society & Politics.
1. A ‘Second Transition’ in Spain? Policy, Institutions and Interparty Politics under Zapatero (2004–8) Bonnie N. Field 2. Spain’s New Left Turn: Society Driven or Party Instigated? Omar G. Encarnacion 3. Minority Government and Legislative Politics in a Multilevel State: Spain under Zapatero Bonnie N. Field 4. Reforms Betrayed? Zapatero and Continuities in Economic Policy Sebastian Royo 5. Territorial Accommodation, Party Politics, and Statute Reform in Spain Diego Muro 6. Progressive Failure: Government, Unions and the Continuing Marginalisation of Immigrants in Spain, 2004–8 Andrew Richards 7. Ungrateful Citizens? Women’s Rights Policies in Zapatero’s Spain Kerman Calvo and Irene Martın 8. Much Ado about Little: Continuity and Change in the European Union Policy of the Spanish Socialist Government (2004–8) Carlos Closa 9. A Second Transition, or More of the Same? Spanish Foreign Policy under Zapatero Charles Powell