Motors of Change?

Author: Hill, Christopher
This book seeks to analyze the specific role elite actors played in the process of Spain’s democratic transition, thereby demonstrating the influence of individuals in creating political change. Though utilizing Spain as a case study, the nature of the analysis allows for the findings to be applied to democratic transitions as a general political process and not simply constrained to the example in question. This work does not purport to have created nor established a paradigm with which to fully comprehend democratic transitions, but an attempt has been made to produce a theoretical approach capable of addressing questions previously unanswered. The work also offers an historical overview of Spain’s democratic transition.


“By combining rational choice approaches and historical institutionalism, Dr. Christopher Hill provides us with a fascinating and nuanced account of exactly how and why Spain’s elite actors were able to make the path-shaping decisions which were so central to the ultimate establishment of democracy – even when that was not necessarily the intention of the decision-makers themselves.” – Professor Paul M. Heywood, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham

“ ... I am certain that the rigorous theoretical, analytical and methodological framework employed by the author has enabled him to interpret the rich empirical details gathered during the course of his research in a convincing and original manner. The reader is therefore offered a clear, imaginative and theoretically persuasive study of the role of elite actors during Spain’s transition to democracy.” – Dr. Paul Kennedy, Lecturer in Spanish and European Studies, University of Bath

“This book should be considered a valuable addition to our understanding of the 1970s in Spain, a subject on which few books exist in English; and it fits neatly into the literature on democratic transition, which often tends to focus on post-communist societies in East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union ...” – Professor John Young, School of History, University of Nottingham

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Preface by Paul Heywood
Introduction: When All the Dust Has Been Swept Away
1 Twentieth Century Development: Spain’s Path to Democracy
2 Constructing the Framework: Analysis of Suitable Approaches
3 The Nomination of Juan Carlos: An Unexpected Successor
4 The Nomination of Adolfo Suárez: A Valuable Asset in Place
5 The Reform of the Cortes: Knight to King Four
6 The Attempted Military Coup: Democracy Held Hostage