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Dictatorship and the Electoral Vote

Francoism and the Portuguese New State Regime in Comparative Perspective, 1945–1975

Carlos Domper Lasús is a European PhD scholar in Political History from the Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali ‘Guido Carli’ (Rome). In 2018 he received ‘Best 2017 Young Researcher Award’ from the Spanish Association for Contemporary History. His research endeavours have taken him to the Université de Bourgogne); the Central European University, Budapest; the IMT School for Advanced Studies, Lucca; Universidad Complutense, Madrid; the University of California, San Diego; and the Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa.

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

Why do dictatorships have elections? Dictatorship and the Electoral Vote analyses the role of elections in two dictatorships that were born in the Era of Fascism but survived up to the 1970s: the Portuguese New State and Francoism. A comparative study of the electoral vote held by both dictatorships is revealing at many organizational and structural levels. The multiple political interactions involved in elections worldwide have been subject to social science scrutiny but rarely encompass historical context. The analysis of the electoral vote held by Iberian dictatorships is uniquely placed to link the two.

The issues to hand include: drawing of electoral rolls; evolution of the number of people allowed to vote; candidate selection processes; propaganda methods; impact on the institutional structure of the regime; the socio-political biographies of the candidates; the electoral turnout and final tally; relationship between the central and peripheral authorities of the state; and the viewpoint of regime authorities on the holding of elections. Comparative analysis of all these issues enables a better understanding of the political nature of these dictatorships as well as a comprehensive explanation of the historical roots and evolution of the elections these dictatorship held since 1945.

Based on primary archival documents, some of them never previously accessed, the book offers a detailed explanation of how these dictatorships used elections to consolidate their political authority and provides a historical approach that allows placing both countries in the framework of European electoral history and in the history of the political evolution of Iberian dictatorships between the Axis defeat and their breakdown in the mid-seventies.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-987-6
Hardback Price: £75.00 / $89.95
Release Date: February 2020
Page Extent / Format: 288 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No





Series Editors’ Preface


Chapter 1. Time of Democracy, Time of Crisis, Time of Change

Chapter 2. The Anatomy of Iberian Dictatorship Elections: Shadow of the Past

Chapter 3. The Institutional Framework and Bureaucratic Actors

Chapter 4. Carrying Out the Electoral Rolls

Chapter 5. Formation of the Candidacies

Chapter 6. The Electoral Campaign and the Voting

Chapter 7. Turnout and the Second-Class Political Elite

Chapter 8. Institutional Structure of the Dictatorships: A Dead End

Chapter 9. The Mid-1950s Onwards: Elections, Social Change and Political Crisis

Chapter 10. The Success of Defensiveness:  A Dictatorship’s Bailiwick

Chapter 11. Impassable Contradictions



Reviewed by Teresa Pinheiro, Technische Universität Chemnitz, in International Journal of Iberian Studies, Volume 34, Number 1; © 2021 Intellect Ltd Book Review. English language.

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