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Rebuilding a Blue Nation

Maritime Policies of the Portuguese New State, 1933–1974

In the Series
The Portuguese-Speaking World: Its History, Politics and Culture

Álvaro Garrido is Associate Professor of the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, Portugal, where he coordinates the Department of Economic and Social History, and senior researcher of CEIS20 (Centro de Estudos Interdisciplinares do Século XX da Universidade de Coimbra). A former Director of Museu Marítimo de Ílhavo, he; has published widely on contemporary maritime history; organized public exhibitions; and has written and directed two documentary films.

The Portuguese New State (Estado Novo), a dictatorship regime based on a corporatist ideology, built up an ambitious maritime policy. Making the nation go back to the sea served to promote economic self-sufficiency and to recover the past golden age of oceanic navigation. Both fed positively into the regime's propaganda arguments. Rebuilding a Blue Nation offers an overview on the remarkable features of these modern age maritime policies: sardine and cod fisheries, merchant fleets and colonial routes, shipping and ports. Describing the form of the “national maritime economy”, and how the New State ideology drove its programmes until the 1970s, reveals insights into the institutional structure of the regime and its political elites discourse.

Under the banner of “national sovereign policies”, research into the economic branches of António de Oliveira Salazar's authoritarian regime provides hitherto unavailable data on fish landings, shipping and navy expenditure. Topics include: shipping and trade port policies; cod and sardine fishing, and the ecosystem; maritime sports and oceanic leisure; and merchant fleets and colonial routes.

Addressing the impact of external and multilateral regulations on these autarkic national economic institutions shows up the inner workings of the regime. The connection between the Portuguese corporatist system and the national maritime economy is an exemplar for better understanding the New State's ideology as historians continue to debate the economic and social impact of the 40-year dictatorship. Rebuilding a Blue Nation moves the argument away from rural and colonial viewpoints to provide a unique avenue of historical assessment.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-014-9
Hardback Price: £85.00/$99.95
Release Date: December 2022 
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp. 234 x 156 mm
Illustrated: Yes


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