2004 0-7734-6280-5 There is an abundant literature on the Spanish transition to democracy as viewed from the level of the Spanish national polity and of the national political elites. The view from civil society and from particular localities is much less explored. This book fills this gap by seeking to understand the process of democratisation from the local level, the level of politics closest to the ordinary citizen. Through an empirical case study of politics in the city of Barcelona, this book sheds light on the relationship between democratisation and citizen participation in associations and social movements within civil society. The focus is on both the process of democratisation and the outcome of that process, namely, the kind of democracy established.
At the core of the book are three questions. First, what role did citizen participation play in the process of democratisation? Second, what was the impact of citizen participation on the kind of democracy established? And finally, what are the consequences of trying to create a more participatory democracy within the shell of capitalist, liberal democracy? The book answers these questions by drawing on a variety of sources and methods including extensive interviews with key local political actors.