The militar and democratic consolidation: the Revolucionary Council (1976-1982)

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The Portuguese revolutionary process has been studied and analyzed both by historians and politicalscientists. Less attention has been paid to the long process of consolidation of the democratic regime, also crossed by contradictions and tensions. After two turbulent years the country began a process ofconsolidation of the democratic institutions. However, the role played by the military in the fall of the previous dictatorial regime and the fragility of the new democratic institutions, did not allow their immediate withdrawal from political life. The President of the Republic was a military and the political parties hadagreed to maintain an unelected sovereign body: the Revolutionary Council. This paper presents some elements that help to understand the success of democratic consolidation in Portugal, revealing in particular that this process should not be interpreted as confrontation between democratic civilian parties and the military and that the subordination to the civil power can also be encouraged by the military itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation for Contemporary Iberian Studies
Subtitle of host publicationIberian Interconnections: Conference Proceedings
EditorsSusana Rocha Relvas, Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas, Maria Goméz Bedoya
Place of PublicationPorto
PublisherUniversidade Católica Editora
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789898835147
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Event38th Annual Conference of the Association for Contemporary Iberian Studies (ACIS) - Universidade Católica do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 7 Sep 20169 Sep 2016
Conference number: 38th


Conference38th Annual Conference of the Association for Contemporary Iberian Studies (ACIS)
Abbreviated title38th ACIS Annual Conference
Internet address


  • Democratic consolidation
  • Portuguese History
  • Portuguese Military History


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