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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter seeks to provide an analytical and historical interpretation of the evolution and workings of the Spanish model of decentralization, the Estado autonómico, and its territorial politics, its determinants and consequences. On the basis of a comparative diagnosis and explanation of its territorial model, such as the degree of devolution acquired or its territorial reforms and its dynamics, the chapter utilizes the broad recent literature, legal, political or economic, dealing with the history, institutional design, political operation and consequences of the territorial system in Spain, so as to evaluate the difficulties and governance results of Spain’s version of federalism. After describing the Spanish territorial institutions and dynamics and their mutual relationships and consequences on stability and adaptability, conflict potential and autonomy protection, the chapter argues that the Spanish decentralization model shows both centrifugal and centripetal forces, and features traits of several types of federations, and therefore of problems typically afflicting them.

Keywords: devolution, federalism, territorial model, Estado autonómico, autonomy, territorial reforms.

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