Transitions, illusions, frustrations, and hopes


  • Jordi Borja Universitat de València


Francoism was a brutal dictatorship, but it was not always that way. During the 1940s and 1950s, people in Spain lived under a dictatorship like that of other fascist dictatorships, in a civil war atmosphere of repression and terror. Society lived in fear and/or submission; resistant minorities were heroic, but they did not change the political regime. In the 1970s, some segments of society gradually began to lose their fear; the Spanish state no longer controlled social or daily life regarding the use of language; the fight of the trade unions grew despite State repression; universities and cultural spheres despised Francoism and, by the end of the decade, social demands and protests emerged in working-class neighbourhoods. In this context, the political cores—most of the left as well as nationalists—began to take root in the most critical areas of the regime and an ‘agreed transition’ became almost inevitable. Most of society did not want the Franco regime to continue, but they also feared a traumatic and violent change. The result was a formal democratic beginning. However, institutional Francoism was still present, for example, in the armed forces, the upper echelons of bureaucracy, and the Judiciary. Transition was the beginning of democratisation


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Biografia de l'autor/a

Jordi Borja, Universitat de València

Jordi Borja (Barcelona, 1941) is an urban geographer who studied law in Barcelona (1958‑1962) and Paris. He has an undergraduate degree in sociology, a postgraduate degree in human geography, and a master’s degree as well as PhD study courses in urban planning (1962‑1968). Borja holds a doctorate in urban geography from the University of Barcelona
and is currently a professor emeritus of the Open University of Catalonia. He was previously a professor at the University of Barcelona, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, French Institute of Urbanism (in Paris), and at universities in London, Lisbon, Rome, Venice, City, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Cordoba,
Santiago de Chile, Quito (Flacso), New York (Pratt Institute and NYU), and California (Berkeley), among others.




Com citar

Borja, J. (2019) “Transitions, illusions, frustrations, and hopes”, Debats. Revista de cultura, poder i societat, 3. Available at: (Accessed: 11 December 2023).