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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Forty years after its making, the 1978 Spanish Constitution is now subject to growing criticism and demands for reform. This chapter examines first the context in which this constitutional design developed, and the main influences it received: the West European welfare state model, external economic and geostrategic constraints and a tight balance of power between the most significant actors in the Spanish political arena. It then points to the key founding bargains achieved during the democratic transition over traditional and new political and social issues. Finally, it assesses the constitutional design performance and looks at its prospective development. Having exceeded all its historical precedents in time and efficiency, the 1978 Constitution is now challenged by a deep social and economic unrest, a recurrent national-territorial conflict and public distrust of political institutions

Keywords: Spanish Constitution, constitutional performance, constitutional reform, democratic transition, key founding bargains

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