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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Spain's transition from authoritarianism to democracy has been lauded as one of the paradigm cases of democratic transition. But is this reputation deserved? Revisiting some of the key political events since Spain's democratic Transition, this course questions both the claims surrounding the Transition and the nature of the democracy which followed.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Stuart Durkin

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of International Relations (IR) (Studied) or Politics (PI) (Studied) or Hispanic Studies (SP) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PI3064 Radical Basque Nation-Building and the New Spanish Democracy (Studied)
  • PI3564 Radical Basque Nation-Building and the New Spanish Democracy (Studied)
  • PI3569 The Politics of Democratic Spain (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will examine some of the central political developments in post-democratic Spain.  These will include the Transition itself; the new Spanish Constitution of 1978 and the Statute of Autonomies (1979); Spanish and peripheral nationalisms; ETA's attempt to undermine Spain's fledgling democracy; the Socialist party and the Dirty War against ETA, as well as events of a more contemporary nature, such as  memory and the politics of memory; the effect of the economic crisis on Spain, especially upon Spanish youth; the emergence of new social movements in the wake of the 'crisis'; and the Catalan 'referendum' of November 2014.  This post-democratic socio-political landscape will be examined via a number of theoretical standpoints ranging from theories of democracy and democratic transitions, nationalism and ethno-nationalism and terrorism, as well as theories of conflict resolution.
On completion of the course students will be equipped with:
1. A comprehensive understanding of one of the paradigm cases of democratic transition in Western Europe.
2. A knowledge and understanding of some of the theoretical prisms through which some of the key political events in post-democratic Spain might be approached.

In order that:
3. These theories can be used to approach an analysis of a particular facet of the politics of post-democratic Spain via an extended group-based, problem-oriented exercise
4. The results of this extended group-oriented problem-based exercise can be presented and displayed in a high quality poster format
5. Students are able to record and reflect via an individual research diary, not only upon the way in which the poster addresses the requirements of the problem-oriented learning exercise, but also upon the process and dynamics via which the poster was produced. 

Associated Costs

Students are required to cover the costs for producing an A1 colour poster (one poster per group of 5 students).

Further Information & Notes

Available only to students in Politics OR International Relations degrees.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Group poster development and presentation (group mark 50%) Research diary of 2500 to 3000 words (individual mark 50%).

Formative Assessment

Students will be required to give a group presentation, which will be peer-assessed.


Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date. Oral feedback on class presentations will also be provided where appropriate.

Course Learning Outcomes


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