Embedding Neoliberalism in Spain: from Franquismo to Neoliberalism
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?
KeywordsEuropean Union Industrial Policy Liberal Democracy European Monetary Union Labour Market Reform
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- 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