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Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
2021/2022 Year Barcelona

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Course Overview


Contemporary Spain: History, Politics & Society

Contemporary Spain: History, Politics & Society Course Overview


CEA Partner Institution: CEA Barcelona Center
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Primary Subject Area: Political Science
Other Subject Area: History
Instruction in: English
Course Code: POL360
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: None


Over the past three decades, Spain has undergone a transformation perhaps greater than any other country in Western Europe. Until 1975, the military dictator Francisco Franco had governed a country with a modest economy that seemed condemned to remain on the periphery of European culture and politics. At the present time, however, the country has grown into one of the most advanced and dynamic places on the continent. In this course, we will discuss and explore the reasons behind Spain's ascension, while examining critically the current challenges that the country faces. The main objectives of this course are that students understand, comment upon and analyze the most important aspects of Spanish history, politics and society over the last 30 years.

Topics covered will include: integration into the European Union and NATO; the decentralization of Spain, asymmetric federalism, the role of the autonomous communities; from an emigrant to an immigrant country; women in the workplace and the family; Basque and Islamic terrorism; secular society and the Church; and the challenges of globalization. The latter sessions will concentrate on issues important to today's Spaniards. These include their attempts to come to terms with the past to "right the wrongs" of Francoism - through the Law of Historical Memory. We will explore how immigration is changing the face of society, housing problems, and the burdens of an aging population.

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