Catalan Politics 101 with Andrew Dowling

Episode 41: Exhuming Franco with Sebastiaan Faber The Sobremesa Podcast

The Sobremesa Podcast has slowed down for August like the rest of Spain. But here is some summer listening for you, no matter where you are!Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College, joins me to discuss his latest book Exhuming Franco What is left of Francisco Franco's legacy in Spain today? Franco ruled Spain as a military dictator from 1939 until his death in 1975. In October 2019, his remains were removed from the massive national monument in which they had been buried for forty-four years. For some, the exhumation confirmed that Spain has long been a modern, consolidated democracy. The reality is more complicated. In fact, the country is still deeply affected—and divided—by the dictatorial legacies of Francoism.In one short volume, Exhuming Franco covers all major facets of the Francoist legacy today, combining research and analysis with reportage and interviews. This book is critical of Spanish democracy; yet, as the final chapter makes clear, Spain is one of many countries facing difficult questions about a conflictive past. To make things worse, the rise of a new, right-wing nationalist revisionism across the West threatens to undo much of the progress made in the past couple of decades when it comes to issues of historical justice. Available now in all good book stores and in e-book form.Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College, is the author of several books, including Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War and Exile and Cultural Hegemony: Spanish Intellectuals in Mexico, 1939–1975 (both published by Vanderbilt University Press).
  1. Episode 41: Exhuming Franco with Sebastiaan Faber
  2. Episode 40: The Future of Unidas Podemos
  3. Episode 39: Catalan Political Prisoners Get a Pardon With Andrew Dowling
  4. Episode 38: Nazi Germany and Spain with Dr Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrío
  5. Episode 37: #4M Madrid Elections 2021 with Caroline Gray and Eoghan Gilmartin

On Sunday the 14th February 2021, Catalonia will go to the polls, this time to elect a regional government. This is the second regional election since the October 2017 independence referendum.

The first in December 2017 was called by then Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, in that election the biggest party Cuidudanos won the most seats but could not form an administration. A regional government was formed by independence forces JuntsxCats/ERC/CUP. Quimm Torra was elected as regional president.

In the April 2019 general election, Torra went against Spanish election rules. After many long judicial battles, Torra was dismissed as regional premier and forced to call regional elections. These are those elections.

Since the 2017 elections much has changed in Catalan politics and national Spanish politics. Both are intertwined and can effect each other.

Here is my interview with Andrew Dowling, a lecturer at Cardiff University and author of the book The Rise of Catalan Independence: Spain’s Territorial Crisis. Here he explains recent developments in Catalan politics and the build up to these elections.

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