1st Edition

The Politics of Contemporary Spain

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ISBN 9780415356787
Published January 20, 2005 by Routledge
256 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

While Spain is now a well-established democracy closely integrated into the European Union, it has suffered from a number of severe internal problems such as corruption, discord between state and regional nationalism, and separatist terrorism.

The Politics of Contemporary Spain charts the trajectory of Spanish politics from the transition to democracy through to the present day, including the aftermath of the Madrid bombings of March 2004 and the elections that followed three days later. It offers new insights on the main political parties and the political system, on the monarchy, corruption, terrorism, regional and conservative nationalism, and on Spain's policies in the Mediterranean and the EU. It challenges many existing assumptions about politics in Spain, reaching beyond systems and practices to look at identities, political cultures and mentalities. It brings to bear on the analysis the latest empirical data and theoretical perspectives.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Spain since the transition to democracy: an overview Sebastian Balfour 1. From Consensus to Competition: Changing conceptions of democracy in the spanish transition Jonathan Hopkin 2. The Monarchy of Juan Carlos: From Dictator's Dreams to Democratic Realities Paul Preston 3. Corruption, Democracy and Governance in Contemporary Spain Paul Heywood 4. The War against Terrorism: the Spanish Experience Paddy Woodworth 5. Terrorism and Nationalist Conflict: the Weakness of Democracy in the Basque Country José Manuel Mata 6. Convergència i Unió, Catalonia and the new Catalanism Andrew Dowling 7. From National Catholic Nostalgia to Constitutional Patriotism: Spanish Conservative Nationalism since the early 1990s Xosé-Manoel Núñez 8. The Reinvention of Spanish Conservatism: The Popular Party since 1989 Sebastian Balfour 9. The Spanish Socialist Party in Power and in Opposition Monica Méndez-Lago 10. Between Ambition and Insecurity: Spanish Politics and the Mediterranean Richard Gillespie 11. Spain in the New European Union: In Search of a New Role and Identity Mary Farrell

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Sebastian Balfour is Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research interests cover the history and politics of twentieth century Spain. Recent publications include: The End of the Spanish Empire 1898-1923 and Deadly Embrace. Morocco and the Road to the Spanish Civil War.


'A treasure trove of empirical data on everything from the monarchy to the several "nationalisms" that insist, in their different ways, on separate cultural, political and linguistic identity.'

Ciaran Cosgrove, The Irish Times 

'Succinctly written analyses of corruption, of state terror covertly practised against the terrorists in the 1980s, of Opus Dei and its machinations, and a truly brilliant analysis of conservative Spanish nationalism since the early 1990s by historian Xose-Manoel Seixas - all that and much more besides make this book an invaluable compendium of the political contradictions, wonders and waywardness of western Europe's most variegated country.'

Ciaran Cosgrove, The Irish Times