Peculiar but not unique: Spain’s politics of forgetting

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Omar G. Encarnación


The present analysis challenges the widespread view of Spain as outside or in violation of international norms of how nations are meant to deal with a difficult and painful past. It argues that Spain is “peculiar but not unique” as it concerns the attempt to overcome the horrific legacy of the Spanish Civil War and the Francois repression by forging the so-called Pact of Forgetting. Across the Western world, there is a long history of countries forgetting and reinventing their histories for the purpose of consolidating democratic institutions. Moreover, there is no consensus on how nations should conduct themselves with respect to the past. What there is, instead, is a tendency to find pragmatic solutions that privilege peace and stability over justice and accountability against the old regime.

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Encarnación, O. G. (2017). Peculiar but not unique: Spain’s politics of forgetting. Aportes. Revista De Historia Contemporánea, 32(94). Recuperado a partir de
Biografía del autor/a

Omar G. Encarnación, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Omar G. Encarnación. Professor of Political Studies at Bard College (USA), where he teaches comparative politics, international relations, and Iberian and Latin American Studies. He is the author, most recently, of Out in the Periphery: Latin America’s Gay Rights Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016) and Democracy without Justice in Spain: The Politics of Forgetting (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).