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Prohibition, Tolerance, Co-option: Cultural Appropriation and Francoism in Catalonia, 1939–75

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 July 2018

ANDREW DOWLING*
Affiliation:
School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University 1.12 66a Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS; dowlinga@cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

Dictatorships, autocracies and authoritarian political systems must adapt if they wish to survive. The long-lasting dictatorship of Franco's Spain (1939–75) underwent a series of internal adaptations during its almost forty years of existence. The initial project of the Franco regime, which included the destruction of its social and political enemies, lasted until the end of the Second World War. The second phase, marked by a failed autarkic experiment, ended in 1959. The economic change that followed entailed a moderate opening in political terms, whilst maintaining a dictatorial apparatus. This article examines a further feature in the evolution of the Franco regime which initially sought to impose a monolithic national identity (Spanish) by means of the repression of its national minorities (Basque, Catalan, Galician and so on). Due to the absence of a violent political movement as existed in the Basque Country in the form of ETA, Catalonia is a particularly fruitful source to examine the shifts that took place in the Franco regime's policy towards Spain's historic nationalities. This article focuses on the intermediate spaces that appeared between overt opposition on the one hand and active collaboration on the other. This article assesses the evolving policy towards Catalan culture and identity during the dictatorship. I find three main phases in the regime's strategy: repression, followed by comparative tolerance with a final phase of the co-option of Catalan culture, for the purposes of regime legitimation.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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