Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


Money, Politics and Corruption in Modern Spain


Borja de Riquer y Permanyer, Professor Emeritus of Contemporary History at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, is editor of Historia Mundial de Cataluña (2018) and co-edited La corrupción política en la España Contemporánea (2018).

Lluís Ferran Toledano Gonzàlez, associate professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, is joint editor of La corrupción política en la España contemporánea (2018).

Gemma Rubí, accredited as a full professor, at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, is also researcher for PICEC (Politics, Institutions and Corruption in the Contemporary Era).

It is common to think that Latin countries, in southern Europe or Latin America, are naturally corrupt regions when, in reality, this is a modern-day cliché that merely legitimizes alleged superiority. This book provides the interpretative tools to investigate political corruption in contemporary Spain and its colonies, in a comparative and interdisciplinary historical perspective, conducted and developed by specialists in economic history, political and administrative history, and political science. Addressing the historical functionality of corruption in Spain, and its weakening of the democratic ideal, provides an investigatory template and research model for combating and better understanding the evolution of corruption in Western democracies and other international arenas.

Key to the investigation are the interrelations established between political power bases and different economic interest groups, against the background of elites who have become state players over time. The most frequent corrupt practices are bribery, favouritism, tax fraud, embezzlement of public funds, revolving appointment doors, influence peddling and political control of local territories through electoral corruption (caciquismo). Discussion centres on preventative measures to combat such practices. These behaviours exist historically both in continental Europe and in Great Britain, but with notable differences regarding the impunity of crimes, the lack of division of administrative and political oversight, and the absence of a culture of accountability.

Chapter contributions explain the impact and circumstances of corruption in business, the economy, and national and local administrations. The work covers a wide historical range, including the imperial penetration of corruption in Restoration Bourbon Spain; hunger and bribery under the Franco regime; and the consequences of the financial crisis of 2008.

Published in association with the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies


Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-070-5
Hardback Price: £70.00 / $84.95
Release Date: April 2021
Page Extent / Format: 240 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No



Series Preface by Paul Preston



Borja de Riquer, Gemma Rubí, and Lluís Ferran Toledano


The Links between Business, the Economy and Corruption

Carles Sudrià


The Budget and Corruption (1808-2017)

Francisco Comín


The Metamorphoses of Economic Groups vis-à-vis Political Power

Miguel Á. López-Morell


Corruption and Politics in Public Administration during the First Half of the 19th Century

Jean Philippe Luis


The Imperial Penetration of Corruption in Restoration Bourbon Spain: A Metastasis

Xavier Huetz de Lemps


Corruption, Business and Politics in XX century: Nicolás María de Urgoiti, Joan March and Jesús Polanco

Mercedes Cabrera


Hunger, Corruption and Bribery under the Franco Regime (1939-1959)

Ángel Viñas


Corruption in Today's Spain: What Happened during the Crisis of 2008?

Manuel Villoria


Spain is Different? A history of Political Corruption

Borja de Riquer, Gemma Rubí, Lluís Ferran Toledano


The Editors and Contributors



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