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2016/2017  BA-BBLCV1034U  Spain and the crisis: why isn’t it over yet and who’s to blame?

English Title
Spain and the crisis: why isn’t it over yet and who’s to blame?

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc og MSc in Business, Language and Culture, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Carsten Jacob Humlebæk - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • International political economy
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
Last updated on 15-02-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • demonstrate understanding of the most important aspects of the current economic, political and social crisis in Spain as well as in Europe and of how the two crises are related
  • demonstrate ability to place the selected problem in the right social, political and historical context of current Spanish society
  • demonstrate understanding of the most important social, political and cultural aspects of Spain's position within Europa since the country's integration into the EEC/EU
  • demonstrate ability to base his/her assignment on relevant sources
  • demonstrate ability to choose and implement relevant tools and methods on the selected problem
  • demonstrate ability to present the problem and the analysis in a logical and organised manner in accordance with the academic genre and language
Course prerequisites
- General knowledge of recent Spanish political and economical history
- Some working knowledge of Spanish – particularly reading capability - is an asset but not a necessary prerequisite
Spain and the Crisis: Why Isn't It Over Yet and Who's to Blame?:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Written home assignment based on a given (by lots) subject. The draw is scheduled on the last day of teaching. Essays can be written in English or Spanish.

Course content and structure

The overall purpose of the course is to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse challenges that face Spain both economically, politically and socially in the aftermath of the almost decade-long crisis that the country has been going through. This discussion is naturally placed within a European context of the EU and the €, that together provided large part of the preconditions for the sustained pre-crisis economic growth but which also strengthened certain tendencies that made the crisis more severe in Spain.

The course begins by tracing the contours of the aftermath of the economic, political and social crisis that both Spain and Europe have been going through over the last eight years and discussing how the two crises are related. The historical, cultural and identity-related factors that have contributed to giving Spain its particular position within the European space are analysed in order to discuss the political, social and economic development of Spain since the integration into the European Community in 1986. The detailed knowledge of Spanish developments in recent decades serves as a background for assessing why the impact of the financial crisis was particularly severe in Spain and why the crisis is not over yet, at least not in all aspects. We shall discuss the economic, institutional and social consequences of the crisis such as soaring unemployment, working poor, break-up of the established system of political parties, secessionism etc. to assess to possibility of overcoming the challenges lying ahead of the Spanish economy and political community. We will explore the causal connections and contingencies between pre-crisis situation and the later developments as well as the main political actors involved in order to assess the question of who’s to blame and finally we will evaluate the crisis in its European context: to what extent does it represent a particular development? Does Spain have the potential to become a vanguard in solving some of these problems and tensions?

Teaching methods
Introduction to the themes and key concepts of the course by the teacher followed by discussion in class of the texts that have been read. Group-work and -discussions and presentations in class of findings will also be a regular part of the course.
Student workload
Teaching 36 hours
Preparation 125 hours
Exam 45 hours
Expected literature

Aguilar Fernández, Paloma and Carsten Humlebæk (2002), ‘Collective Memory and National Identity in the Spanish Democracy: The Legacies of Francoism and the Civil War’, History and Memory, 14, 1/2: 121-165.

Arnov, Lars Due (2001): Spanien, EF og NATO – en komparativ analyse af de spanske beslutninger om optagelse i EF og NATO 1975-1986 (Århus: Jean Monnet Center, Aarhus Universitet).

Balfour, Sebastian and Alejandro Quiroga (2007): The Reinvention of Spain. Nation and Identity since Democracy. Oxford: OUP.

Encarnación, Omar G. (2008), Spanish Politics.Democracy after Dictatorship, Cambridge/Malden (MA): Polity Press.

Humlebæk, Carsten (2015): Spain. The Invention of the Nation (London: Bloomsbury Academic).

Humlebæk, C. (2005), ‘Political Uses of the Recent Past in the Spanish Post-Authoritarian Democracy’, in M.P. Friedman and P. Kenney (eds), Partisan Histories. The Past in Contemporary Politics, Basingstoke/New York (NY): Palgrave Macmillan: 75-88.

Reflection Group on the Future of the EU (2010): “Project Europe 2030 – Challenges and opportunities” (accessible on-line at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/en_web.pdf).


Last updated on 15-02-2016