Spanish summer Business course - Spanish Politics

Spanish politics

Spanish politics (45 h)

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the Spanish Political system and its evolution. The course will cover the main elements that make up political systems, as well as how the Spanish system may be similar, or different, to other systems around the world.  

The course is divided into three main sections: Institutional Framework, Elections, and Political Culture. The first section will explain the institutions that govern the country and the legal basis of the system. This section is further divided into three subsections: one that explains the background and context where the main institutions were established, one that explains the main institutions of the constitutional agreement reached in 1978 and their development, and one that introduces the territorial organization and the process of decentralization.  

The second section focuses on electoral dynamics in Spain, which is one of the main features of democratic systems. This section will start by describing the regulation of elections in Spain, followed by a discussion on Spanish political parties. Finally, the electoral dynamics will be explained by reviewing the different phases of electoral behavior in different elections since democracy was established.  

The last section will introduce the main aspects of political culture in Spain and the ways in which it differs from that of other countries. This section is divided into two parts: one that focuses on the characteristics of the elites, and one that will review the main aspects of citizen’s political culture and public attitudes.

Course 2023-2024

Course 2023-2024

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Group: V1
Teacher: Ginesta Rodríguez, Víctor


The sessions are divided into three parts. Firstly, the lecturer delivers a presentation on the main concepts and ideas related to the topic. Once the presentation is over, students are required to participate in a debate on how the Spanish Political System compares to other political systems they are familiar with. Participation in these debates will be evaluated. Finally, the session will conclude with an exercise that connects the theory with some practical elements. This exercise typically involves reading or analyzing some data. Some of these exercises will need to be submitted in the next session, as part of the module’s evaluation.


Class attendance and participation: 20%  

Exercises to be handed in: 20%  

Mid-term exam: 30% Final exam: 30%


• Institutional framework  

o Historical background  

o Previous democratic experiences o Franco’s dictatorship  

o The Spanish transition  

o The Constitution of 1978  

• The institutions  

o The Parliament: senate and congress  

o Government  

o The Monarchy  

o The Constitutional Court  

o The Judiciary  

• The Territorial organization  

o Main Principles and characteristics 

o Two systems that became one 

o Regional Political systems  

o The relations between the different levels of government  


• Elections and electoral system  

o The different elections and its regulations  

o Electoral law  

• Spanish Political Parties  

o The Socialist Party  

o The Popular Party and its predecessor AP  

o The left: from the Communist Party to Podemos through United Left  

o Is there a center in Spain? Ciudadanos and UCD  

o The regional parties 

• The electoral dynamics of Spain  

o The role of UCD and the first elections  

o The collapse of UCD and the Socialists big majorities  

o The arrival of the PP to the power  

o 11M and the Zapatero government  

o The economic crisis and Rajoy o The collapse of the bipartisan system Political culture  

• Political elites in Spain  

o Lobbies  

o Think tanks o Social Movements  

• Public Opinion in Spain  

o Public Opinion in Spain  

The decline of traditional morality 

Welfare state and economic views 

Europe and views of the role of Spain in the world  

Spain as a nation and the territorial conflict  

o The Media


ENCARNACIÓN, O. G. (2008): Spanish politics: democracy after dictatorship. New York: Polity GUNTHER, R., J. R. MONTERO, & J. BOTELLA.(2004): Democracy in modern Spain. New Haven: Yale University Press.  

MAGONE, J. M. (2008): Contemporary Spanish Politics. London: Routledge, Atlas de la Península Ibérica, Península, Barcelona, 1998.  

VILA VALENTÍ, J.: La península Ibérica, Ariel, Barcelona, 1996.

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