Between history, myth, and the present: an asymmetric transaction


  • Jaime Pastor Verdú Universitat de València


The period known as the Spanish political transition—whose duration is still subject to debate—has been interpreted in many ways, though the dominant and official narrative is the version that portrays it as ‘exemplary’. This paper critically reviews the process that led to the relative stabilisation of a new parliamentary monarchy together with its gradual integration into the European project. We highlight the context, uncertainties, and splitting crossroads that appeared in different periods of the transition. This paper upholds the idea that the transition was an asymmetric compromise that avoided a democratic rupture with Franco’s dictatorship and its legacy. We recognise the liberties and rights that were won, but likewise, we emphasise the costs entailed in this process. In particular, the transition had a high political cost in that it fostered an elitist political culture that, in spite of several waves of protests, was not challenged by a social majority until the emergence of the most recent surge of protest as an result of the 15 May 2011 movement. Since then, the unfolding crisis of the regime—which is related to the crisis also currently affecting the EU in the aftermath of the financial and real estate crisis of 2008—as well as the internal national–territorial division in Spain, has once again put the issue of the Spanish transition, and the possible need for a ‘second transition’ or new constituent processes, under the spotlight of debate.


Les dades de descàrrega encara no estan disponibles.

Biografia de l'autor/a

Jaime Pastor Verdú, Universitat de València

Jaime Pastor has a degree in sociology from the Université Paris-VIII and a doctorate in political science from the Complutense University of Madrid. He is a professor of political science in the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the UNED where his main lines of research are social movements and political action, nationalisms and federalism, and critical geopolitics.




Com citar

Pastor Verdú, J. (2019) “Between history, myth, and the present: an asymmetric transaction”, Debats. Revista de cultura, poder i societat, 3. Available at: (Accessed: 23 February 2024).