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The Political Class in Advanced DemocraciesA Comparative Handbook$
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Jens Borchert and Jürgen Zeiss

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199260362.001.0001

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Spain: A Textbook Case of Partitocracy

Spain: A Textbook Case of Partitocracy

Chapter:
(p.336) 18 Spain: A Textbook Case of Partitocracy
Source:
The Political Class in Advanced Democracies
Author(s):

Peter Matuschek

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199260362.003.0018

Following its late democratization, Spain immediately experienced a development towards political professionalism, a process in which the political parties have been decisive as they soon succeeded in monopolizing their position as the sole intermediating actor between the political system and society. As Spain's parties are heavily centralized and hierarchical, pursuing an individual political career has become virtually impossible without passing through parties, which have thus emerged as the predominant gatekeepers. Although political careers mostly start on the local level, they may take different paths afterwards with the national Parliament being an important but often a transitional stage. Thanks to the high degree of politicization, an abundance of fallback options exists in the spheres of state and society, whether in the public administration, public enterprises, or the parties themselves. For the individual politician, this system of partitocracy provides a relatively high degree of professional security and guarantees a constant 'recycling' of the political class as a whole.

Keywords:   autonomous communities, caciquismo, Congreso de los Diputados, partitocracy, political career, political class, political parties, Spain

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