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Honors Thesis Archive

Author Laura Prahl
Title More than a Political Shift: 11-M and its impact on the Spanish Democracy
Department Political Science
Year 2007
Honors Departmental Honors
Full Text View Thesis (94 KB)
Abstract After the tragic Atocha, El Pozo, and Santa Eugenia train bombings in Madrid, Spaniards were faced three days later with the opportunity to change the political landscape of their country in the general elections of March 14, 2004. In response to the 11-M (March 11, 2004) attacks, the Spanish public turned out on election-day to declare Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of the socialist party (PSOE) their new leader. This surprise victory for the socialists removed the conservative party, Partido Popular (PP), and President Jose Maria Aznar from his eight year tenure in government. On the global scale, this threatened Spain's involvement with the coalition forces in the War in Iraq and changed the dynamic of the European Union. These terrorist attacks, called "Spain's September 11th," caused a monumental shift in Spain's political, economic, and cultural environment, and also towards the international fight against terrorism. This paper analyzes the political repercussions and the effect this remarkable event had on the Spanish government's democratic system in terms of using both traditional and modern approaches to democratic theory and electoral results from the 2004 national elections.

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