The Crisis of Authority of the Liberal State in Spain: Between the Catalan Quagmire and the Red Spectre (November 1918-April 1919)


People involved in this project

Principal investigator:

School Modern Languages
Department Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Dates 01 April 2013 - 31 December 2013
Funder British Academy
Contact person Dr Francisco Romero

More about this project

Today, the western world in general and Spain in particular are shaken to their foundations by the global socio-economic crisis. My research focuses on a period when Spain experienced conditions similar to those of the current crisis: a discredited governing class, massive industrial disorder, popular discontent, and Catalan separatism. In the aftermath of WWI and spurred on by the Allied victory, demands by Catalonia’s political elites for greater autonomy found determined resistance in Madrid. My research examines how the political tussle between the centre and the Catalan elites ended in a brutal social conflict in which both were the losers as the fear of the ruling classes and the hopes of the proletariat generated by the Bolshevik Revolution resulted in the question of national identity being superseded by class conflict. This research is part of a wider project, an original study of the interrelation between the failure of the established governing elites to undergo thorough change and the parallel spiral of social violence.