PLSC 367. Contemporary Spanish Politics
Last time taught: Spring 2020
Spanish democracy has been in turmoil since the 2008 economic crisis. The economic crisis was followed by a deep institutional and political crisis. Between 2015 and 2019, Spanish citizens have been called to participate in four general elections. Ideological polarization has increased, electoral and party volatility has skyrocketed, the territorial conflict has intensified, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly have been curtailed, and a radical right-wing party, Vox, has become the third large party in the parliament after the November 2019 elections.
This course seeks to help students to become familiar with Spanish politics, and to understand the dynamics that lie behind political change in contemporary Spain. The Spanish case serves to motivate a broader reflection on relevant topics in comparative politics (e.g. polarization, transitional justice, state and nation building, terrorism and its electoral consequences, secessionism, etc.).
The course is addressed to undergraduate students with basic notions of comparative politics who want to specialize in the Spanish case, students pursuing a Spanish major with an interest in the politics of Spain or, more broadly, to students with a general interest in Spain.
Over the course, we will use visual materials and press articles to learn and understand what is going on in Spanish politics today.