Course Description

Course Name

Political Transition and Democracy in Spain (1975-2000)

Session: VSVF2221

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level


  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of four semesters (or six quarters) at the college level.


A quarter of a century has gone by since the process of democratization in Spain first got under
way. A sufficient degree of perspective is now available so as to enable the development of an
integrated module that has come to be known as The Present Day, which, strictly speaking, surfs the
interdisciplinary frontiers among History, Law, and the Political Sciences, aiming to provide a wellgrounded
analysis of Spain’s recent past.
There is no doubting the fact that the process of democratization in Spain has aroused a great deal of
interest outside the country. Not only has it acted as a referent in the case of Latin American countries
such as Guatemala and Chile, but has also come to be a subject of analysis and observation on the part
of developed Western countries. In this sense, the inclusion of this module within the Courses for
Students from Abroad constitutes a highly relevant move, especially as a result of its appeal to students
from the United States.
The aims of this Course module are as listed here:
a) To create an awareness of how Spain’s political transition is the result of a process of reform.
b) Internationally speaking, to assess Spain’s progressive integration within the Western scenario.
c) To contribute to an understanding of the unique features of Spain’s political system and of its
constitutional architecture.
d) To help make discernible the specific model of Spain’s territorial organization (a State made up
of autonomous regions) by establishing comparisons with other countries.
e) To contribute to the identification of the main characteristics of Spanish political culture.

1. The End of an Authoritarian Regime within the Processes of Transition affecting Southern Europe
2. From Carlos Arias Navarro to Adolfo Suárez: Political Reform (November, 1975, to December,
3. From the Recovery of Fundamental Liberties to the Constitution (January, 1977, to December,
4. The Difficulties involved in the Consolidation of Democracy and the Crisis in UCD (January, 1979,
to October, 1982).
5. The First Socialist Government: Toward Spain’s International Integration (1982-1986).
6. The Spain of the Autonomous Regions.
7. Economic Growth and Crisis (1986-1996).
8. Spain’s Political System.
9. The Conservative Alternative (1996-2004).
10. Weighing Up the Process and Future Challenges.

Keeping in mind the duration of class sessions (two hours) and the need to deal with a range of
levels of comprehension of the Spanish language, a dynamic methodology will be adopted, based on the
following procedures:
a) the explanation of subject content via Powerpoint presentations;

b) the analysis of texts and documents distributed in Xeroxed copies;
c) the inclusion of the screening of documentaries covering specific topics;
d) the holding of debates and exchanges of viewpoint during certain sessions.

*Course content subject to change