The regime of ’81
Patronage and permissiveness
in Following Franco
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In the aftermath of Franco’s death, the right allowed the country to move towards the centre in exchange for the bodies of the vanquished and the biographies of the victorious remaining interred. The unsuccessful coup changed the balance of power: new terms of engagement could, and perhaps ought to, have been brought into play. Under the first decade of Socialist rule, it was sometimes difficult to know if Franco was more discredited at home for being old-fashioned or for being a dictator; this chapter suggests that an unreflective and self-satisfied celebration of freedom of expression camouflaged the prolongation – and, in some cases, intensification – of non-democratic practices, an almost carnivalesque idolatry providing fast-track access to (post)modernity alongside a first-class platform on the international stage.

Following Franco

Spanish culture and politics in transition, 1962–92

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