Global Europe - Problems and Perspectives

The United States and the Democratic Transition in Spain, 1975-82

by Associate Professor Morten Heiberg (Engerom)

The transition to democracy in Spain after General Franco's death on 20 November 1975 is widely recognized as one of the proudest moments in Spanish national history. Historians, sociologists and political scientists have contributed equally to a thorough understanding of this defining event. Yet for a number of good reasons their main focus has been on Spanish domestic issues rather than on external forces and their significance for the democratization of Spain. However, in recent years the international dimension of the transition period 1975-1982 has gained new interest as a separate field of investigation. My paper (based on a forthcoming monograph) is very much in line with this new trend, as it discusses the role and the importance of the United States for the process of democratic change in Spain.

The 'Break-up of Britain' Prophesy in a Global Perspective

by Professor Stuart Ward (Engerom)

This paper considers the long-standing habit of attributing Britain’s contemporary social and political ills to some species of “post-imperial” malaise. This can be traced back to the early 1960s, but continues to emerge in times of political discord, social turmoil or international adversity. In particular, it will examine the widely presumed link between global imperial decline and the diminishing political cohesion of the Union, dating back to the early political breakthrough of separatist movements in Scotland and Wales in the 1960s. The paper critiques the conspicuous absence of any informed grasp of the wider global context that supposedly underpins this post-imperial diagnosis, and examines the reasons why prophesying the “break-up of Britain” has always been a “little Britain” enterprise. 

This is an Engerom focus event within the research platform Global Europe.