• Ignacio Molina
  • Fernando Rodrigo
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


The last two decades of the twentieth century have seen a number of extraordinary transformations in the foreign policy of all European states, marked by the significant progress made in supranational integration, growing global interdependence and the end of the Cold War. However, in Spain, changes in the international arena have been enhanced by developments within the domestic framework. The simultaneous processes of democratisation, territorial decentralisation and accession to the European Community/ Union (EC/EU) have had a decisive effect, turning foreign policy making into something more complex and more closely linked to the domestic political sphere. This chapter examines how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, MAE) has adapted itself to the transformation in Spanish foreign policy making. At first sight, the role of the ministry seems to have been reduced from its traditional status as the only Spanish player in international affairs. However, this does not necessarily imply its progressive decline within the Spanish polity. In fact, the more pluralistic and complex context in which foreign policy is elaborated can paradoxically favour the MAE as a new horizontal actor of the core executive.


Foreign Policy Foreign Affair Economic Affair Home Affair Royal Decree 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ignacio Molina
  • Fernando Rodrigo

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