Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe (Oxford by Richard Gunther, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, Dimitri A.

By Richard Gunther, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos

This quantity analyzes the evolution of chosen public guidelines and the altering roles and constitution of the kingdom in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain because the Sixties. It makes an incredible contribution to paintings on contemporary democratic regime transition in southern Europe, demonstrating how the nation has spoke back and tailored to the demanding situations and pressures linked to the overarching methods of democratization, socio-economic improvement, and Europeanization.

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Extra resources for Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe (Oxford Studies in Democratization)

Sample text

In Italy, this tradition traced its origins to the independent city states of the medieval and early modern eras; but it also survived in different form even in those areas which fell under Spanish or Austrian control, due to the separate administrative status Introduction 11 these regions were allowed to retain. In Spain, several independent kingdoms had existed in medieval times, and though united with Castile beginning in the 1470s, they had continued to enjoy great regional autonomy long afterward.

To be sure, this latter occurred all over Europe during that time. But in the South its circle of victims was broader, and included many peasants, since agrarian protests continued to be powerful there until well into the twentieth century. The institution whose name became almost synonymous with this tradition of repression was Spain’s Guardia Civil, a national police corps organized in 1844 as part of the military and run by army officers. Lauded by the established classes, it was so widely hated among intellectuals and the masses for the brutal almost mechanical quality of its violence that its abolition became a popular demand of every successful revolutionary movement.

A wide gap thus opened between political theory and political realities, reminiscent of de Tocqueville’s important distinction between the pays le´gal and the pays re´el. The first major effect of the constant violation in practice of political liberties that were accepted in principle was fierce conflict between progressive liberals who sought to actually implement more of the liberal ideal, and conservative liberals who feared chaos were this to happen. This is what lay behind much of the civic strife of the 1830–70s, especially on the Iberian Peninsula.

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