A European Perspective
The Spanish way from authoritarianism to democracy
Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland
The Spanish way to democracy only appears to be the well-described phenomenon of leaving an undemocratic system behind. In fact, the current events in this Iberian Peninsula country generate new questions. This time, however, the questions are not focused around the issue of “whether democracy?” but “what democracy?” This shows the continuum of changes initiated in the 70s of the twentieth century.
Paradoxically enough, any analysis of the political situation in Spain might begin with the same words, i.e. España es diferente. This opinion, already expressed by the ancient Romans, is still valid. Spain is different because firstly there is the barrier of the Pyrenees that makes it more geographically isolated; secondly it is divided into municipalities which next form provinces, which make up the autonomous communities. This complicated history is not an echo of the past, but a part of the Spanish identity and an important determiner of the actions of successive governments (historical politics).
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