Spanish Society: Stable Instability

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-3-44-54
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation;
Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences (INION RAS), 51/21, Nakhimovskii Prosp., Moscow, 117418, Russian Federation.

Received 27.11.2022. Revised 09.12.2022. Accepted 26.12.2022.

Abstract. Instability has become a “new normal” for Spain. This relatively young democracy with numerous semiperipheral traits is seeing new challenges overlap the long-standing old ones, which makes instability greater than in more developed European Union countries. The article is the first Russian academic paper to cover the entirety of destabilizing factors in contemporary Spanish society. Among the destabilizers one can identify those that may be traced back to Spain’s historical past. These include polarization of opinions on the legacy of the Civil War and the Franco regime, elements of authoritarian attitudes in mass consciousness and political practices of organizations, as well as conflicts between supporters of monarchy and the republican movement, between avid catholics and secularists. Another contributing factor is fragility of the political system that shows itself in personalist (caudillist) parties, whose mechanisms for intra-party democracy are still immature. There is also a disproportionate electoral legislation, politicized judiciary, and the unfinished nation state that has failed to truly integrate Catalonia and the Basque Country. Another destabilizer is volatile social and economic development. Spain has one of the highest rates of unemployment and precarious employment in the EU, intensive growth of precariat, flawed healthcare and education systems, immigration galvanizing both indigenous nationalism and xenophobia, with the reluctance of many immigrants to adapt to Spanish culture and society. Minimizing risks related to destabilizing factors is an imperative for Spain’s present and future.

Keywords: Spain, built-in destabilizers, political parties, electoral system, judiciary, unfinished nation state, unemployment, precarious employment


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For citation:
Khenkin S. Spanish Society: Stable Instability. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 44-54. EDN: NGXWFG

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