Abstract and Keywords
The Spanish transition to democracy from authoritarian rule in the 1970s was very successful and was taken as a model for other processes of political change by relatively peaceful means. But the expectation that it could give light to an exemplary democracy based on proportional representation and territorial decentralization has not been fulfilled. In comparison with most democracies in Europe, the Spanish parliamentary monarchy’s distinct features include single-party minority governments, partocracy or partisan control of separate institutions, competitive federalism with lack of cooperation among territorial communities and with the central government, neglect of the obligations to and commitments with the European Union, and high barriers to constitutional reform. Many preventive mechanisms that were conceived to favour political stability have turned into factors that have eroded electoral and social support for the results of the political process.
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