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Omar G. Encarnación

After the radical-left Syriza party came to power in Greece, attention has turned to Spain's Podemos—a leftist party gaining traction in the polls—that could matter even more for European austerity policies.

Carles Boix and J.C. Major

Over the past few years, the number of Catalans who wish for independence from Spain has skyrocketed. Until the early 2000s, a steady 10–15 percent supported independence. Now, according to recent opinion polls, that percentage is closer to 50 -- a symptom of deep-rooted flaws in the configuration of the Spanish state.

Omar G. Encarnación

By resigning, Spain's King Juan Carlos’ is gambling that his departure will restore the monarchy’s luster. But his bet also entails a high stakes game of political brinkmanship for the incoming king, not unlike the one he himself encountered when he came to the throne after General Francisco Franco’s death.

Review Essay, Jan/Feb 2014
Victor Pérez-Díaz

Spain’s surprising cultural richness under General Francisco Franco reflected the reality that for Franco, an opportunistic authoritarian eager to get along with the West, governing Spain meant allowing for limited pluralism and making concessions to a population ever more used to a modicum of wealth and freedom.

Reading List,
Omar Encarnación

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Spain.

Essay, May/June 2012
Andrew Moravcsik

As Europe emerges from economic crisis, a larger challenge remains: finally turning the eurozone into an optimal currency area, with economies similar enough to sustain a single monetary policy. Getting there will be difficult and expensive, but the future of European integration hangs in the balance.

Hamilton M. Stapell

The national election turned over Spain's government, but the remedy on the way -- fiscal austerity as pushed by Berlin and the European Central Bank -- will only make Madrid's problems worse. Cutting will not save the euro.

Essay, Oct 1977
Stanley Meisler

On June 15, 1977, just a year and a half after the death of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, Spaniards elected a new, bicameral Cortes with the authority to write a constitution for Spain. It was the first freely contested parliamentary election in Spain since February 15, 1936, and it produced scenes that Franco would have abhorred: Communists brazenly waving red banners, chanting slogans, and singing the Internationale; the young, dynamic leader of the Socialist Workers Party entering rallies with his left hand in a clenched fist salute, his right signaling V for victoria; politicians exhorting Basques in Euskera, Catalans in Catalan, Galicians in Gallego, all forbidden languages a few years before; and newspapers belittling their government and its leader.

Essay, Jul 1975
John C. Campbell

From history, climate, the cultivation of the olive and other aspects of a common civilization, the Mediterranean region has a certain unity. One can see it on the map. Yet it is too much a part of Europe, too much a part of the larger strategic concerns of non-Mediterranean powers, too diverse in the nations which encircle its waters, to constitute a subject of specifically regional politics, economics or security. A Tunisian foreign minister may call plaintively for a Mediterranean freed from the presence of superpower navies. A Soviet leader may float a suggestion for its denuclearization. A Yugoslav may propose a system of Mediterranean security to complete the work of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. A president of France may speak of a community stemming from his nation's historic and cultural ties with nations on both sides of the inland sea. Such proposals have had an occasional echo. But the Mediterranean area is not ready for a big international conference on security, for a negotiated set of principles of coexistence, or for the withdrawal of American and Soviet naval forces. Everyone sees a crisis there, but none agree on its description and no regional solution, no regional procedure for getting a solution, is at hand.

Essay, Jan 1971
Stanley G. Payne

The importance of southern Europe to the balance of power in world affairs has been underlined by the continuing crisis in the Middle East, the growth of Russian power in the Mediterranean and President Nixon's diplomatic journey in the autumn of 1970. The earlier renewal of the Spanish-American military pact, followed by Nixon's visit to Madrid, once more called attention to the role played by the Spanish government. At the same time, the future of the Franco régime has raised more questions than at any time in the past two decades, if only because of the fact that Franco himself entered his seventy-ninth year at the close of 1970 and in the preceding year took the unprecedented step of officially designating a successor, Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón, as heir to the Spanish throne.

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