Social movements in the political transition: inheritances, singularities, and transformations of social mobilisation in the 1970s


  • Benjamín Tejerina Universitat de València


The objective of this article is to analyse the characteristics of social mobilisation during the democratic transition in Spain in the late 1970s. Beyond the unequal silence that regarding the roles played by different social movements in shaping the configuration of the political and social system at that time, the recovery of some viewpoints that provide visibility to the contribution of social movements to political and social change, is also valuable. Specifically, the transmission of heritage, the processes of relief among activists, and the peculiarities of these activities, which have had several consequences lasting many decades. Secondary sources and the testimonies of numerous anti-nuclear, feminist, nationalist, linguistic, pacifist, and neighbourhood activists from various research projects were used. Far from a nostalgic review, the results reveal the complex relationships between political parties—especially those on the left—and social movements. The most visible traces of these connexions are those that put an end to the silence manufactured by the Francoist regime, that led the collective effervescence into the streets and public spaces, enabled diversification, specialisation, and socialisation of a new generation of activists, and produced relative deradicalisation and professionalisation which brought about legal reforms and further social change, as well as the institutionalisation of social movements.


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Biografia de l'autor/a

Benjamín Tejerina, Universitat de València

Benjamín Tejerina is a senior professor of sociology and director of the Centre for Studies on Collective Identity at the University of the Basque Country. He is also the author of Crisis and social mobilization in contemporary Spain: The 15M Movement (with I. Perugorría, 2017); From social to political: New forms of mobilization and democratization (with I. Perugorría, 2012); La sociedad imaginada. Movimientos sociales y cambio cultural en España (‘The imagined society. Social movements and cultural change in Spain’) (2010); and of Los movimientos sociales. Transformaciones políticas y cambio cultural (‘Social movements. Political transformations and cultural change’) (with P. Ibarra, 1998).




Com citar

Tejerina, B. (2019) “Social movements in the political transition: inheritances, singularities, and transformations of social mobilisation in the 1970s”, Debats. Revista de cultura, poder i societat, 3. Available at: (Accessed: 1 December 2022).