By focusing on the relationship between external relations and domestic policy the book makes an important contribution to the literature on democratisation, as well as showing how Spanish foreign policy evolved between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s.
While the book focuses on democratic Spain, its revisionist view of democratic transitions is of more general relevance. Democratization is seen as an integral process involving related, though not simultaneous changes in domestic policy and external relations. Only with the transformation of her external relations did Spain's new democracy finally become consolidated.
This book will be required reading for students of Spanish politics and will also be useful to those interested in the process of democratization.
The volume is one of the first to focus comparatively on the rise of pro-sovereignty politics in mainstream nationalist parties, whose evolution has also featured more traditional impulses towards territorial accommodation within the wider state. Using the exceptionally rich laboratory provided by Spain, the book explores the dynamics behind shifts in the orientation of nationalist parties and movements once they have established themselves as electorally successful at regional level. Dimensions to the analysis include: the interaction of nationalist parties with central government; pressures from their support bases; competition between parties within the home region; and international influences.
This title is innovative in bringing together experts with a range of disciplinary approaches: primarily political scientists but also historians and scholars located at the cusp between social sciences and humanities.
Leading experts provide here the first integrated analysis of the significance and shortcomings of the UfM. Beginning with critical questioning of the motives and institutional logics informing this venture, the collection proceeds to analyse its key actors, as well as major policy dossiers such as energy and development.
The book explains how and why an initiative aiming to depoliticize Euro-Mediterranean relations in fact proved wide open to political discord, bringing huge disruption to UfM activity. While some aspects are found to have merit, the volume is critical of the way in which EU Mediterranean policy became driven by a narrow range of national interests, lost sight of the political objectives of the preceding Barcelona Process and became overwhelmingly bilateral in approach, at the expense of more ambitious region-building efforts.
It concludes by highlighting the need to reform the EU Mediterranean policy framework in the light of the Arab uprisings of 2011.
This book was published as a special issue of Mediterranean Politics.