Updated 2 months ago

Politic culture linked to both sides

The study of political cultures, in particular, has in recent times had a very outstanding development, whether we understand them as an analytical concept or as a simple designation of a field of work. While political scientists have been busy with political cultures since the mid-twentieth century-initially thanks to the contributions of Almond and Verba, along the lines of Parsonian functionalism-historians did not begin to worry about the issue until the 1970s, Especially, in the following. The concept of political culture, which drinks from that developed in other related disciplines and has contributed decisively to the renewal of political history, has been used in different ways. In particular, they emphasize a pair of them: as a system of shared cultural representations, which contain a global vision of the world and its evolution, the place that man occupies in it and the nature of the problems of power (Berstein, Sirinelli); Or as a discursive discourse or mediation, as a kind of logic or common sense implicit to which subjects are unconsciously subordinated (Baker, Vernon, Sommers).

A few months ago the last two installments of an ambitious and interesting project of study of the political cultures in Spain and Latin America in the contemporary era, coordinated by Manuel Perez Ledesma and Ismael Saz and published, in half a dozen volumes, By the publishers Marcial Pons and Presses of the University of Zaragoza. The first four are dedicated to the political cultures in Spain between the War of Independence and the beginning of the second decade of our century: The Creation of Modern Political Cultures, 1808-1833 (Cabrera-Pro), The Liberal Spain, 1833 -1874 (Romeo-Sierra), The Restoration and the Republic, 1874-1936 (Forcadell-Suárez Cortina) and From Francoism to Democracy, 1936-2013 (Pérez Ledesma-Saz).

We are facing a meritorious and important proposal to make the political history of contemporary Spain and Latin America more understandable and intelligible

In total, 49 contributions by some of the best specialists in contemporary Spanish history. The fifth and sixth volumes contain 27 papers focusing on Latin America: between 1810 and 1930, by Tabanera and Bonaudo, and between 1930 and 2012, coordinated by Casaús and Macleod. To have incorporated the Latin American space into a product thought from Spain is undoubtedly to be grateful and goes in the line of considering the Spanish case unthinkable and incomprehensible without a Euro-American framework. However, a couple of questions restrain these commendable purposes a little: the lack of interaction between the works dedicated to each side of the Atlantic and the need to embed the reflection on Latin America in two volumes, which requires a treatment of scale Significantly different from the one dedicated to the Hispanic case. Despite the criticism, the work is on the right track.

The different contributions do not use a single concept of political culture, and in some we find echoes of disparate definitions. It has opted for a non-exclusive and somewhat eclectic approach, which enriches the whole. It may be useful to read, as a complement, a book of 2010: Political cultures: theory and history, edited by the aforementioned Pérez Ledesma and María Sierra. I especially recommend the long article by Miguel Ángel Cabrera. To all the historians of reference in this field that I have already mentioned, it is essential to add that of François-Xavier Guerra, which emerges permanently in the works dedicated to Latin America, but also to those centered in Spain in the early nineteenth century. We are, in conclusion, before a meritorious and important proposal to make the political but also cultural and social history of contemporary Spain and Latin America more understandable and intelligible. It's not a new story, but it has a lot of new history.