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The quest for survival after Franco: The moderate Francoists' slow journey to the polls (1964-1977).

Palomares, Maria Cristina (2002) The quest for survival after Franco: The moderate Francoists' slow journey to the polls (1964-1977). PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the trajectory of the moderate members of Franco's regime (known as aperturistas and reformists) over more than one decade until the arrival of democracy in 1977. These moderates, who favoured, in differing degrees, the political reform of the regime, were part of a group of actors who paved the way for the transition to democracy. The period studied ranges from 1964, the year when the Law of Associations was introduced, to 1977, the year of the first democratic elections. The thesis attempts to explain how the acceptance of a democratic system by the moderate Francoists following the dictator's death was partly the result of their early advocacy of political reform. Their reasons for advocating political reform were rooted in (i) the economic and social development experienced in Spain from the beginning of the 1960s, and (ii) their wish to avoid the dramatic break with the dictatorship (ruptura) proposed by the democratic opposition in the 1970s. The ruptura option implied the destruction of all Francoist institutions, laws, and lifestyle, and, with them, the political elimination of the moderate Francoists themselves. Their political survival became at stake after the death of Franco in 1975. From 1975, therefore, many members of the regime supported the arrival of democracy (without the Communist's participation) merely as a strategy for their political survival. But, in the case of some moderates, their participation in the process of democratising Spain was a natural step after their long-standing advocacy of reform. Important research has been done on the study of the moderate Francoists in the early 1970s, but the trajectory of their personal and political ideologies throughout the 1960s has thus far been largely neglected. During the transition process, the regime's reformists acted as a bridge between the hard-liners of the regime and a strong democratic opposition, helping King Juan Carlos, Adolfo Suarez and Torcuato Fernandez-Miranda to implement the 1976 Reform Law that swept away the old structures of the regime. The thesis shows that the ultimate importance of the regime reformist in the transition to democracy, therefore, cannot be understood in isolation. It is beyond question, however, that the lack of a group of regime reformists would have yielded a different transition process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, European, Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2780

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