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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12128/4153
Title: Pozycja partii regionalnych w systemie politycznym współczesnej Hiszpanii
Authors: Myśliwiec, Małgorzata
Keywords: partie polityczne Hiszpania; wybory Hiszpania; prawo wyborcze Hiszpania; Hiszpania polityka i rządy
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: The vast literature on European political parties is dominated by works focused on analyzing activities of the highest branches of state governments. Yet, it is difficult to be surprised by this state of affairs — in Europe, central authorities remain as the main political decision-makers, both in terms of internal affairs and foreign policies. However, it does not change the fact that political parties active in and submitting electoral candidates throughout any given country are not the only entities influencing the quality of political decisions made. It is particularly the case in federation countries and the so-called regional states, where regional parties, as well as their particular variety — ethno-regional parties — gain increasing political significance. The intensification of research on the position of regional parties in political systems of individual European states, especially on the subject of their presence in representative organs on four levels — European, state, regional, and local — is definitely justified. The first argument in favor of such research is the fact that in contemporary Europe, these groupings play a major role in establishing regional imagined communities. As a consequence, scientists must attempt to redefine the existing relations between the core and the periphery. The second argument is the fact that in Western European countries, the relevance level of regional parties is rather high, which indicates that the field of operations for such parties is still widening. Thirdly, regional parties are indeed a political occurrence characteristic for “old Europe” states, but they can also be found in Central and Eastern European countries. It means that conducting research on Western European regional parties conducted in Poland can be particularly significant. Poland is a rather unitary state and a change in the constitutional order, adopted in 1997, which establishes such a form of regime, is rather unlikely. It does not mean however, that the influence of Western European standards will not have an impact on political events in Poland and the shaping of the local political scene. An indepth analysis of solutions adopted in individual Western European states in terms of the capacity for representational participation of regional collectives in electoral representative organs on European, national, regional, and local levels can allow for drawing appropriate conclusions and a substantive evaluation of chances of and threats to democracy, which result from including political representatives of regional collective into lawmaking and — in a wider context — the workings of the political system. Fourthly, an analysis of the functioning of regional parties in the framework of European political systems can significantly contribute to the understanding of some factors conditioning the so-called “unfreezing process” of political systems. Finally, it should be noted that despite the existence of several classifications of political parties, the authors researching the matter today usually propose the adoption of a division into party “families”, since the main “rivalry poles” are similar in most European states. The assumption of divisions based on doctrinal stereotypes is the reason many authors question the purposefulness of including regional and ethnic parties in classifications, which indicate the existence of ideological “families”. It does not, however, change the fact that they comment on the matter of the existence of such groupings in their works, which is why we can assume that this is a consequential research issue. Contemporary Spain is undoubtedly one of the most interesting examples of a European state, where the political rivalry between the core and the periphery indicates the existence of a substantial sociopolitical division in this aspect. It is clear that any attempt to describe the functioning of its party system based solely on a classification formed using traditional doctrinal stereotypes must lead to an incomplete, heavily distorted image. The political processes in this country during the last 150 years show that the socio-political division between the core and the periphery is not any less vital in Spain than the divisions based on the attitudes towards economic and ideological issues. It is clear there that at the turn of the second decade of the 21st century, in the midst of a serious economic crisis, the disappointment in elite politics on the political core level resulted in the rise of popularity of regional parties. It should be noted here that the research on Spanish parties from this party “family” must be coupled with devoting particular attention to a subtype of groupings, which advocate ethnic values. This is due to the specificity of periphery regions, differing from other state areas in language, customs or tradition of political institutions, but also in using these differences in political play by ethno-regional parties. From the perspective of a highly centralized state such as Poland, it definitely merits to examine the case of Spain. The first argument in favor of researching this field is the fact that despite granting autonomic rights to all regions of Spain, the state still retains the form of a unitary state. This work is therefore an analysis of occurrences within the context of a similar form of state, as opposed to those happening in a federation — a form foreign to Polish tradition. Secondly, adding to Polish literature and therefore widening the knowledge of regional parties in Spain may be useful in future in the context of gradual maturing of Polish democracy on local and regional levels. The state decentralization, which occurred in Poland after 1989 was probably one of the most difficult political processes carried out in the country. It is suffice to note that in 1990, at the dawn of the Polish Third Republic, only one level of self-government — the municipal government — was established. Further solutions in the local government reform area were not implemented until 1998, when the government of Jerzy Buzek decided to create county and province levels. However, those solutions are becoming a frequent subject of political and scientific discussion. These discussions often include the notion that the local government reform is a process, which has not been finalized in Poland yet. It is worth noting here that the requests related to directions of changes in the field of Polish decentralization often come from local and regional entities. It can be therefore presumed that the process of development of sub-state political elites will result in subsequent requests in the future. This can further exacerbate the sociopolitical core-periphery division. Consequently, the main goal of this work is to verify the research hypothesis, which assumes that the significant sociopolitical core-periphery divisions in Spain must have prompted the political elites of the central level - which were active after the demise of general Franco and guided the democratic transformation process, setting the state’s territorial integrity as a main goal — to employ solutions for the creation, activity and financing of political parties, as well as for electoral laws, which would allow for communities from individual historical regions to maintain a representation in representative organs on four levels — European, state, regional, and local — therefore ensuring their significant position in the political system of contemporary Spain.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12128/4153
ISBN: 9788380121058
9788380121065
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (WNS)

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