Following Spain's transition to democracy in the 1970s, the country experienced rapid economic modernization, the establishment of a functioning liberal democracy, and a cultural renaissance. Along with rising living standards, over the following thirty years ordinary Spaniards experienced massive improvements in the road and rail networks, in local amenities-from sporting facilities to centers for the aged-and in the public health system. As a result, by the start of the 20th century Spaniards had largely overcome any sense of inferiority in comparison with other major western European countries and the United States. However, Spain was hit by a severe economic recession between 2008 and 2011, and unemployment levels are still very high. Moreover, a large number of corruption cases have come to light, and tensions between the central government and Catalan autonomous government have burst into open conflict. Restructuring the Spanish economy, ensuring probity in public life, and accommodating Catalonia within the Spanish state are therefore key tasks in the decade the lies ahead.
This third edition of the Historical Dictionary of Spain contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has more than 700 cross-referenced entries on important personalities as well as aspects of the country's politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. The book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Spain. 9 Tables, unspecified; 2 Maps