Contemporary Spanish Politics (in English)

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Contemporary Spanish Politics (in English)

  • Host University

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, International Relations, International Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description

    This course will introduce students to the most important historical, social, and economic aspects of contemporary Spanish politics. Firstly, it will examine the legacy of the Franco regime and the transition to democracy after 1975. Secondly, it will focus on the new political, social and economic institutions of the democratic regime. Thirdly, structural dynamics of Spanish politics will be assessed. Lastly, a number of particular public policies in Spain will be discussed. 

    Course Goals and Methodology

    The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the main debates surrounding Spanish politics and its political system. This course will question the historical roots of the current political system in Spain. Features like the Second Republic, the Civil War, Francoism and the Transition to democracy will be analyzed in order to stress their relevance on current Spanish contemporary politics. Also, this course aims to understand the different actors that structure Spanish politics. The role and structure of core institutions, political parties, social movements, lobbies, bureaucracy, mass media and political elites will be assessed. Likewise, this course will focus on the dynamics structuring the political system. Those dynamics include the processes of decentralization, Europeanization and internationalization. The rise of the Spanish welfare state, the state and nation building process, the new developments affecting the political culture, or the effects of the electoral system will be tackled. Finally, this course will take a look at certain public policies that will help students understand the nature of contemporary Spanish politics.  

    Each session will be based on a fundamental topic or question (e.g., Spanish Public Administration: Reformism or Inertia?). The professor will provide quantitative and qualitative data about that issue, and an open discussion will conclude each session. Different educational methods and techniques will be applied: debates, presentations, readings, videos, films, quizzes and exams will help students to get acquainted with the Spanish political system. 

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of the course, students will be able to:

    1. Understand the recent developments in Spanish politics.

    2. Debate about the current state of Spanish politics.

    3. Recognize different concepts regarding Spanish political system (state, nation, power, public policies, institutions, social movements…). 

    Course Requirements and Grading
    Your final grade will be calculated as follows:

    ● Participation: 20%

    ● Midterm exam: 25%

    ● Final exam: 25%

    ● Final project group presentation: 30% 

    Course Contents

    1. The Historical Roots of Current Spanish Politics.

     The Civil war and Franco’s dictatorship.The position of the Catholic Church. The territorial issue. Political actors in the transition. Agreeing upon a new Constitution. Revisiting the transition to democracy in Spain: amnesty as oblivion? 

    2. Political structure of the Spanish constitutional system.

    Head of State: the position of the Crown and the rebirth of republicanism. Division of powers I: the judiciary controversy. Division of powers II: political corruption. The territorial structure of Spain: from autonomy to federalism? Political representation in Spain: electoral system and its consequences 

    3. International relations and implications. EU and the Council of Europe.

    The legal nature of the EU. Opening the borders. Migration policies. Liberalism over State intervention: some constitutional consequences.

    4. Spain and the protection of fundamental rights. 

    Religion and rights I: the right to life. Religion and rights II: education in Spain. Political rights I: freedom of expression. Political rights II: assembly and association. Due process of law I: detention and the police. Due process of law II: violations of the fair trial. Equality: gender in Spain. Equality: sexual diversity. 

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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