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Chapter 7 Spain and Portugal. Jonathan Hopkin Ingrid van Biezen. Spain and Portugal. Similarities Revolution and reform Constitutional basics Party systems Future challenges. Similarities. Geographic location Age History of authoritarianism Late economic development

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Chapter 7Spain and Portugal

Jonathan Hopkin

Ingrid van Biezen


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Spain and Portugal

  • Similarities

  • Revolution and reform

  • Constitutional basics

  • Party systems

  • Future challenges


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Similarities

  • Geographic location

  • Age

  • History of authoritarianism

  • Late economic development

  • Recently democratized

  • Joined EC 1 January 1986


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Revolution and Reform

  • Spain and Portugal both lived under right-wing dictatorships until the 1970s

  • Transition to democracy in Portugal through a left-wing military revolt

  • In Spain, an elite-managed transition

  • Both had become western-style democracies by early 1980s


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Constitutional basics: Spain

  • Spanish constitution is complex balance

  • Parliamentary monarchy

  • Prime ministerial dominance

  • Constructive motion of censure

  • Weak upper house

  • D’Hondt PR electoral system (but disproportional)

  • 17 Autonomous Communities


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Constitutional Basics: Portugal

  • 1976 Constitution reflected left-wing nature of military revolt (but later revised to become more ‘neutral’

  • Semi-presidential executive

  • Unicameral legislature

  • D’Hondt PR electoral system (no threshold)


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Spanish Party System

  • PSOE revised policy post-Franco and dominated 1980s under Gonzalez leadership

  • PCE performed poorly, eventually joining United Left, a minority left force

  • UCD – centre-right - collapsed in 1982

  • Popular Party – dominant right party

  • Recent rise of nationalist parties


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Portuguese Party System

  • Stable/predictable party system:

    • Communist Party (PCP)

    • Socialist Party (PS)

    • Social Democratic Party (PSD) (centre-right)

    • Partido do Centro Democrático Social (CDS) (conservative)

  • PS and PSD have become the two main parties since 1987


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Future Challenges: Spain

  • Elitist parties

  • Peripheral nationalism

  • PSOE-PP divisions over ETA/nationalism


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Future Challenges: Portugal

  • Economic performance

  • Political corruption

  • However, Portuguese democracy faces less severe problems than Spain’s


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