Checking date: 22/04/2023

Course: 2024/2025

Spanish Political System
Dual Bachelor in Political Science and Sociology (Plan: 406 - Estudio: 247)

Coordinating teacher: LEON ALFONSO, SANDRA

Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
High proficiency certificate or accredited level in English language. This course when taught in English is basically addressed to Erasmus and exchange students with a basic knowledge of Spanish politics and government and of contemporary Spanish History. - Political Actors - Political Behaviour
Instrumental knowledge of : - The stages and actors of the Spanish political transition and democratic consolidation. - The prevailing values and major fractures in the Spanish political culture. - The articulation and political consequences of electoral systems used in Spain . - The political and progressive transformation of the state of autonomous complexity. Spanish political
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
This course addresses the main characteristics of the political system in Spain from a comparative perspective, that is, taking into account the singularities of the Spanish case in relation to political systems in other advanced democracies. The content organization is structured around five blocks. The first is a review of the origins of the current political system that explores the process of transition to democracy and transitional justice in comparison with other countries. The second block is made up of two sessions on the institutional design of the Spanish political system, one dedicated to the territorial model due to its relevance both in the constitutional debate and in the configuration of political competition, and another dedicated to the main institutional characteristics of the Spanish political system from a comparative perspective. The third block analyzes the study of the main actors of the political system - political parties, voters and civil society - and of the structure where these actors operate (public administration). In the fourth block, the tensions in the system originated after the financial crisis in 2008 are analyzed. The first session of this block deals with the crisis of representation during the first years of the 2010s and the second session is dedicated to the study of ideological and affective polarization. The last block addresses two aspects of the political system that have starred in the current debate in recent years: corruption and the quality of democracy.
Learning activities and methodology
The course consists of two parts: a part of lectures where the main theoretical contents will be taught, and another part of practical sessions. For each of the master classes, some readings will be provided that will mention the minimum contents of the session. The practical sessions are structured around the discussion of one or more relevant (compulsory) readings or online talks on the topics covered in the master classes. Students will prepare the practice session with the help of a question script that the practice teacher will provide in advance. Several of the sessions will consist in the discussion of an online talk and in four of these sessions the students will be asked for a brief (1-2 pages) reflection on its content (as a ¿reaction paper¿). These submissions are evaluated. In addition, the students of the course will be organized in small groups and will present in class for approximately 15-20 minutes a short research work (4000 words excluding bibliography) on some of the subjects of the subject. Said work must be structured around a research question and must have an original empirical part (qualitative and / or quantitative). The written delivery of the work will be made at the end of the course. Finally, attendance at practices is mandatory and, together with participation in lectures and practices, represent 10% of the grade.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 50
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 50

Calendar of Continuous assessment

Extraordinary call: regulations
Basic Bibliography
  • Gunther, R, Montero, J.R., Botella, J.. Democracy in Modern Spain . Yale University Press. 2004
  • Maravall, J.M. y Santamaría, J. . Political change in Spain and the prospects for democracy (en O`Donnell, Schmitter and Whitehead, "Transitions from Authoritarian Rule"). The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1985
  • Reniu, J.M. (edi.), Ruiz Martínez, F.J. et al. Sistema Político Español. Huygens Editorial. 2012
  • Reniú, J.M., eds.. Sistema político español. . Huygens. 2013
Additional Bibliography
  • Gunther, R., J.R. Montero y J. Botella . Democracy in Modern Spain. Yale University Press. 2005
  • Maravall, J.M. y J. Santamaría. Political Change in Spain and the Prospects for Democracy. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1985

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.