Terms: Autumn and Spring
Duration: 21 hours (10 lectures, 11 seminars)

Course Description

The aim of this module is to provide an overview of the history and politics of contemporary Spain. In terms of content, the module will introduce main issues in contemporary history and politics, significant cultural developments and the key moments in the transformation of Spain’s relations with other countries. The focus will be on developing an understanding of the main events, processes and ideas as they shape and influence contemporary Spain. In addition to providing students with the necessary background knowledge to further their understanding of these topics, the module will also aim to equip them with the appropriate skills to write their project during the year abroad. The language medium will be Spanish and students will be trained in the vocabulary and type of discourse appropriate to the discussion of historical and socio-political topics. By the end of the course, students will have also learnt how to search for relevant up-to-date primary and secondary source materials, as well as to analyse such texts critically. The course consists of one 1-hour lecture/seminar per week and requires at least one hour of private study per week. The assessment will consist of an in-class writing task in the first term, a project and a viva. Students will be provided with a variety of up-to-date written and audio-visual materials for the relevant lecture or seminar in addition to the basic reading list which follows after the programme. It is essential that students refer to lecturer’s notes in preparation for each class and for revision.


  • In-class writing task at the end of term 1 - 25%
  • 2300-word project to be submitted at the end of week 1 of term 3 - 50%
  • 30-minute viva (to be arranged after the submission of the project) - 25%

Term 1

  • The fall of the Monarchy in 1931 and the establishment of Spain’s 2nd Republic.
  • From democratic government to military rule after Franco’s coup d’état in July 1936.
  • Demographic and economic changes in the 1960s & 1970s.
  • 1975: Franco’s death and the enduring legacy of his rule. His successor: Juan Carlos I de Borbón as King of Spain.
  • The General Elections of 1982. Spain’s accession to the EEC in 1986 and after

Term 2

  • The Popular Party under José María Aznar in power from 1996 to 2003
  • PSOE’s return to government in March 2004
  • Mariano Rajoy, and the Popular Party: austerity, economic and political decline.
  • 2017: is this the year of the Spanish Spring?

Recommended reading

(reading lists available on Leganto)


  • Casanova, Julián y Carlos Gil Andrés (2012) Breve Historia de España en el siglo XX. Ariel.
  • Casanova, Julián (2014) España partida en dos: breve historia de la guerra civil española. Crítica. Available as “Todo lo que debes saber sobre la guerra civil española”(YouTube) http://www.juliancasanova.es
  • Lalaguna, Juan (2013) A Traveller’s History of Spain  (chapters 6, 7, and 8). The Armchair Traveler at the book Haus


  • Cazorla Sánchez, Antonio (2016) Miedo y progreso. Los españoles de a pie bajo el franquismo, 1939-1975. Alianza Editorial.
  • Fontana, Josep (2013) El futuro es un país extraño. Una reflexion sobre la crisis social del siglo XXI. Ediciones de Pasado y Presente
  • Naredo, José María (1996) La evolución de la agricultura española (1940-2000)Granada PU
  • Juste, Rubén (2017) IBEX35, una historia del poder en España Madrid: Capitán
  • Swing Marín, José María, Carmen Molinero y Pere Ysáas Historia Política de España: 1939-2000 Vol.2, Akal