Rethinking pathways to democracy: civil society in Portugal and Spain, 1960s-2000s

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Abstract

This article argues that patterns of civil society in post-authoritarian democracies are the result of divergent pathways to democracy. Through a comparison between contemporary Portugal and Spain, it is shown that revolutionary pathways to democracy have a positive impact on the self-organizing capabilities of popular groups. Two mechanisms contribute to this. First, the fact that the masses are the key actor in the revolutionary process results in greater legal recognition and institutional embeddedness between civil society organizations and the state. Second, as a consequence of changes in the social and economic structure, revolutions engender more inclusive democracies. This all leads to greater opportunities and resources for the civic action of the common people during the subsequent democratic regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1074-1104
Number of pages31
JournalDemocratization
Volume22
Issue number6
Early online date9 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • civil society
  • social revolution
  • democracy
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • URBAN SOCIAL-MOVEMENTS
  • DEMOCRATIZATION
  • TRANSITION
  • FRAGMENTATION
  • INEQUALITY
  • OUTCOMES
  • PARTIES
  • AMERICA
  • UNIONS

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