Spain in the last hundred years has been a scenario for virtually every single form of government possible: it transformed itself from Empire into State, provided new roles to old institutions such as the monarchy, struggled between democracy and dictatorship, and even between different ideas of what democracy is, experienced civil war, juggled with threats of regional secession, experimented with different forms of territorial organization, and to crown it all, it entered the supranational arena by becoming a member of the European Union. This course provides an introduction to Spanish politics from a historical and comparative perspective. It analyzes the institutional organization of Spain, focusing on the interplay between historical processes and institutional settings. It is designed to introduce students into the comparative analysis of political systems by using Spain as a case study, in addition to providing them with the key elements of the Spanish political “rules of the game” in order to be able to assess the causes and consequences of political institutions and processes.
This course is offered during the regular semester and in the summer. For summer sections, the course schedule is condensed, but the content, learning outcomes, and contact hours are the same.