Embedding Neoliberalism in Spain: from Franquismo to Neoliberalism

  • Paul McVeigh
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


During almost four decades of dictatorship, General Franco was apt to justify his country’s divergent political and economic path with reference to Spain’s exceptionalism (Heywood, 1999). The notion of fundamental Spanish ‘difference’ was proclaimed to underpin a model of political and economic development centred on a protected internal market, wide-ranging centralized bureaucratic intervention in economy and society, and a relatively low regard for civil and democratic rights. Less than three decades after the dictator’s death, Spain is a stable and modern liberal democracy, firmly embedded in European Monetary Union (EMU), and exhibiting a bipartisan consensus over the basic framework of economic governance. Indeed, Spain has become one of the most active members of the European Union (EU) in terms of labour market reform, privatization and deregulation, engaged in policy dialogue at the highest levels with the European bastion of the Anglo-Saxon model, the United Kingdom. So much for Spanish exceptionalism. What accounts for this transformation of the framework of economic governance in Spain?


European Union Industrial Policy Liberal Democracy European Monetary Union Labour Market Reform 
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Further reading

  1. Farrell, M. (2001) Spain in the EU: the Road to Economic Convergence, Basingstoke: Macmillan. An account of the ‘hard road’ to convergence.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Harrison, J. and Corkhill, D. (2004) Spain: A Modern European Economy, Aldershot: Ashgate. A snapshot of the state of the Spanish economy after its integration into the European Union covering the strengths, weaknesses and structural challenges facing the Spanish economy.Google Scholar
  3. Martin, C. (2000) The Spanish Economy in the New Europe, translated from the Spanish by Phillip Hill and Sarah Nicholson, Basingstoke: Macmillan. An insider’s account of the contemporary Spanish economy, its integration into Europe and the associated reform process.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Useful websites

  1. The Spanish National Statistical Institute
  2. The Spanish Government
  3. The Spanish Parliament
  4. El Pais
  5. El Mundo
  6. and Trade unions
  7. Employers
  8. Partido Popular
  9. Socialist Party

Copyright information

© Paul McVeigh 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul McVeigh

There are no affiliations available

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