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Spain: From Dictatorship to Democracy, and Poverty to Prosperity

The story of how Spain transitioned from a military dictatorship to a situational monarchy with a Parliamentary democracy is widely known. This paper scrutinizes the deeper process: how Spain developed its national institutions to build a new polity. How did leadership communicate its political vision, and how did careful sequencing of constitutional and legal reform promote gradual and orderly change? We investigate the specific measures adopted to deal with Spain’s challenges and explain why, even if successful transition may appear inevitable with hindsight, it was not a foregone conclusion.