University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group > Was Spain under Franco Fascist? Juan Linz and his Critics on the Nature of the Franco Regime

Was Spain under Franco Fascist? Juan Linz and his Critics on the Nature of the Franco Regime

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Hilary Powell.

One of the hallmarks of the tradition of Western political thought has been the classification of types of polities or regimes. Nearly all of the most revered minds in the so-called Western Canon, from Plato and Aristotle up through Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, spent enormous intellectual energy in attempting to distinguish and analyze the nature of different kinds of polities or regimes. More often than not, such efforts at classification were accompanied by arguments about the dynamics of transition among or cycling between different types of polities or regimes. Among twentieth-century political thinkers, Juan Linz is one of the few with the rare combination of sufficient historical knowledge and broad theoretical ambition to attempt to undertake such a systematic survey of the modern political landscape.

In international circles, Linz’s contribution to the understanding of the varieties of democratic as well as non-democratic political regimes has been widely recognized. In his native Spain, however, Linz’s use of the Franco regime as “an example and point of departure” for conceptualizing authoritarianism as a distinct type of nondemocratic political regime has been, and continues to be, the subject of considerable controversy. This essay will provide an overview and an assessment of the main arguments that have been advanced in the course of this valuable if sometimes overheated debate.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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