The Reinvention of Spain: Nation and Identity since Democracy

Hardcover | October 25, 2007

bySebastian Balfour, Alejandro Quiroga

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Unravelling the debate about the Spanish nation and its identity in the new democracy, this book looks at the issue as both a historical debate and a contemporary political problem, particularly complex due to the legacy of the Francoist Dictatorship which deeply eroded the legitimacy ofSpanish nationalism. During and since the transition Spanish nationalist discourse has evolved to meet the challenge of new concepts of nation and identity. These formulations argue very different configurations of the relationship between nation and state. While the Constitution of 1978 definesSpain as a nation of nationalities, many politicians and intellectuals now claim that Spain is a nation of nations, others that it is a nation of nations and regions, or a post-traditional nation state, or post-national state. For the peripheral nationalists, it is merely a state of nations andregions. What is at issue is not whether Spain exists or not as a nation; rather, it is the traditional ways of seeing Spain from both the centre and the periphery that are being challenged.The Reinvention of Spain examines the ways in which Spanish and regional identities are projected and how influence the external actions of the Spanish state. It also analyses the dynamic of comparative grievance and competition between regions deriving from the peculiar architecture of the statein Spain, and their effect on social and political cohesion. Finally, it examines scenarios of change that might foster solutions but asserts that Spain will continue to reinvent itself.

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Unravelling the debate about the Spanish nation and its identity in the new democracy, this book looks at the issue as both a historical debate and a contemporary political problem, particularly complex due to the legacy of the Francoist Dictatorship which deeply eroded the legitimacy ofSpanish nationalism. During and since the transit...

Sebastian Balfour is Emeritus Professor of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science. Alejandro Quiroga is a Lecturer in Spanish and European History, University of Newcastle.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:242 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.75 inPublished:October 25, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199206678

ISBN - 13:9780199206674

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Table of Contents

1. Is Spain a nation? A Dialogue of the Deaf2. A Tale of Two Nations. Spanish Nationalism before Democracy (1808-1977)3. Spain Reconstituted or the Semantic Battle of Nationalisms4. Spain: The View from the Left5. Spain: The View from the Right6. Houses of Many Nations. Identities in Catalonia and the Basque Country7. Spain's International Projection8. Spain Reinvented