The Spanish Transition Forty Years Later:
Democracy, Devolution and Pluralism
Publication Date: May 2017
With the death of Franco in 1975, Spain faced multiple challenges, including how best to manage the transition from fascist dictatorship to democracy while also addressing the rise of nationalist movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country seeking autonomy. That the leaders of the democratic transition would build territorial pluralism into their conception of democratization was by no means inevitable. Why and how did democratization and pluralism intersect during the Spanish democratic transition? Forty years on, what does the Spanish experience tell us about the relationship between democracy and devolution and the changing place of pluralism within the self-identity of the country? Which sources of exclusion stubbornly endure?