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Spain's evolution from authoritarian dictatorship to modern democracy was a remarkable achievement, and it created a model that has since been emulated by other countries undergoing similar transitions. Yet its success raised a question that perplexes experts to this day: how and why did a successful democracy emerge in the absence of any tradition of democratic stability? This landmark textbook examines the causes and conditions that explain modern Spain's political development, and analyzes the basic characteristics of Spanish democracy today - its core political institutions, its political parties and party systems (both regional and national), and patterns of electoral behaviour. Written by two leading experts in the field, this is a truly indispensable guide for all undergraduate students of Spanish politics, history, society, and culture.