Practice and experience of the national reconciliation in Spain

Sergii Tolstov

Ph.D. (History), Associate Professor, Transatlantic Research Department Supervisor, NASU Institute of World History of Ukraine

UDС 94(460).08



The contemporary political theory envisages the Spanish transition from authoritarianism to a modern multiparty political system as an important landmark and one of the most successful examples of the ‘third wave’ of the process of global democratization. Commenced in Southern Europe, the transition towards the democratic rule has affected Latin America, South Africa and a number of Asian countries and then went further to the majority of Central and Eastern European states.

The political reforms and regime change became possible due to the ‘national reconciliation’, a series of compromises negotiated between the government and the leaders of the top political parties. This mechanism ensured a gradual peaceful process of political changes and their successful constitutional legitimization, as well as their implementation in the legislature. However, the transition towards a competitive multiparty democracy won’t cover the reconciliation of ideologies, neither did it consider a common moral and political assessment of the past. Both veterans of the Civil War of 1936 – 1939 and victims of the Franco’s dictatorship were completely rehabilitated only 30 years after the political transformation have been launched.


Democratization, transition, national reconciliation, compromise, civil war, dictatorship, repression, rehabilitation.

Download the аrticle


1. Gómez Yáñez J.A. (1985) Bibliografía básica sobre la transición democrática en España. Sistema: Revista de ciencias sociales. 68-69. pp. 149-174. [in Spanish];
Roman Roman A., Sanchez Estevez J.M. (1994) Bibliografia reciente sobre la transicion a la democracia en España. Aula. Vol. VI. pp. 269-300. [in Spanish];
Tusell Gómez J. (2005) Historiografía: ¿qué hubiera pasado si…? La Aventura de la historia. 77. pp. 92-97. [n Spanish].
2. Hantington S. (2003) Tret’ja volna. Demokratizacija v konce XX veka. [transl]. Moskva: ROSSPJeN. [in Russian].
3. Volkova G.I., Dement’ev A.V. (2005) Politicheskaja istorija Ispanii XX veka. Moskva: Vysshaja shkola. [in Russian].
4. Danilov S.Ju. (2004) Grazhdanskaja vojna i obshhenacional’noe primirenie. SShA. Rossija. Ispanija. Moskva: GU VShJe. [in Russian].
5. Tavares de Almeida P., Costa Pinto A., Gina Bermeo N. eds. (2003) Who Governs Southern Europe?: Regime Change and Ministerial Recruitment, 1850-2000. London, Portland, OR: Frank Cass. [in English].
6. Sánchez-Cuenca I., Aguilar P. (2009) Terrorist Violence and Popular Mobilization: The Case of the Spanish Transition to Democracy. Politics & Society. Vol. 37, No. 3. pp. 428-453. [in English].
7. Morán G. (2009) Adolfo Suárez: ambición y destino. Madrid: Debate. [in Spanish].