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European Parties and the European Integration Process, 1945–1992


Edited By Lucia Bonfreschi, Giovanni Orsina and Antonio Varsori

The present volume brings together three different traditions of historical study: national politics, European integration, and political parties. Since the 1980s, there has been an enlargement of the scope of political history. This attempt to transcend national boundaries can intersect with the new strands of European integration history, paying much more attention to transnational perspectives and forces. The chapters comprised in this book attempt to forge a dialogue between these new methodologies and the study of political parties in manifold ways. Firstly, in the study of party foreign and European politics – how parties have perceived themselves as belonging not only to the national political game, but also to a wider transnational, and European one. Secondly, party history can transcend national boundaries through the study of international and European party cooperation. Thirdly, it can offer worthwhile avenues of study on how political families deal with European integration not along ideological cleavages but along national ones. This volume fills a crucial gap of European historiography by comparing parties’ discourses/platforms/policies on European integration and by developing national, comparative and transnational approaches.
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The Europeanism of the PSOE from the Anti-Francoist Choice to the Social Democratic Transformation of the Party (1977-1992)



Assistant Professor, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, Lucca


The aim of this essay is to outline how the European policy of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) evolved from the first democratic elections of 1977 up to the early 1990s.

We will divide the analysis into three periods of time, connecting the PSOE’s Europeanism both with the evolution of the Spanish political system and the changing international scenario. Firstly, we will investigate how from 1977 to 1979 Europeanism was shared by the major representative currents of the party and examine which was the relationship between Europeanism and the Western Liberal political culture.

Secondly, we will analyse how from 1979 to 1985 Europeanism became part of the ideological redefinition of the party as well as an instrument for gaining leadership within the left wing area of the political system.

Finally, we will describe the way in which the PSOE, from 1985 to 1992, connected Europeanism with the assessment of the Social Democratic ideological turning point already being experienced by the party as far as its internal policy was concerned.

During the above-mentioned three periods, we will emphasise how much democratisation, modernisation and political moderation influenced the evolution of Europeanism and how the relationship between Europeanism and Atlanticism affected the broader PSOE foreign policy guidelines. ← 93 | 94 →

The Legacy of Europeanism as an Anti-Francoist Choice (1977-1979)

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