Motors of change?: elite actors and the Spanish transition to democracy (1975-1981)

Hill, Christopher James (2006) Motors of change?: elite actors and the Spanish transition to democracy (1975-1981). PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the methodology prevalent in the analysis of democratic transitions, focusing upon the case study of Spain. Although current literature provides a detailed description of actions taken by elite actors during transition periods and the resultant outcomes, it fails to adequately connect these two factors. This thesis seeks to address the gap in the current literature and to underline the necessity for an explanatory methodology to take into account an amalgamation of approaches.

The case of Spain is drawn upon to highlight the importance of the connection between the role of elite actors and the constraints set in place by the system in which they operate. I argue that an awareness of the existing parameters, both institutional and societal, is critical for an assessment of possible action to be undertaken. The methodology of comparative politics provides the ability to ascertain where there exists a failing in current theoretical approaches and to address this problem through increased analysis. An increasingly comprehensive appreciation of the actions of individuals and the underlying forces that drive these actions deepens our understanding of transition processes as a whole. I would argue that this thesis has implications for future research and indeed, relevance in the actual practice of politics. An awareness of the connection between the individual and the overriding political system is paramount for our understanding of democratic transitions and for future investigation of such processes. In this way, the thesis underlines that the connection between the micro and macro interpretations of transitions is fundamental; not only to guiding systematic analysis, but also to ensuring that research does not remain in the confines of the theoretical but is relevant in the real world.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Fieschi, C
Heywood, P.M.
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
ID Code:1068
Deposited By:Mrs Maxine Blythe
Deposited On:12 Jan 2010 10:56
Last Modified:12 Jan 2010 10:56

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