Article

After the Fear was Over? What Came After Dictatorships in Spain, Greece, and Portugal

Helen Graham and Alejandro Quiroga

in The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560981
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199560981.013.0025

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 After the Fear was Over? What Came After Dictatorships in Spain, Greece, and Portugal

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  • European History
  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)
  • Cold War

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What Spain, Greece, and Portugal have in common in the twentieth century is the manner in which their internal processes of change – rural to urban, agrarian to industrial – were intervened in and inflected at crucial moments and with enduring effect by the force of international political agendas. By the 1960s, in all three countries, the fearful imaginaries of traditionalists still saw a disguised form of communism in the ‘godlessness’ of Americanisation, social liberalisation, and anti-puritanism. This article adopts a tripartite structure (1945: survival; 1970s: transition; after 1989: memory) in order to explore why, how, and with what consequences Southern European political establishments with clear Nazi links or empathies not only survived the collapse of Adolf Hitler's new order, but were also able to persist as dictatorial and authoritarian regimes into the 1970s. It then interrogates the nature of the subsequent transitions to parliamentary democracy, paying particular attention to the continuities. It is remarkable, even today, how few Western European or North American commentators understand the brutality beneath the burlesque of dictatorship in Southern Europe.

Keywords: dictatorship; Spain; Greece; Portugal; Southern Europe; democracy; communism; survival; memory; transition

Article.  11651 words. 

Subjects: History ; European History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945) ; Cold War

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