Spanien, Heinrich Himmler bei Franco - Allgemeiner Deutscher Nachrichtendienst - Zentralbild (Bild 183)

« Setting Early Francoism », abstract by Julio Ponce

Résumé de son intervention par Julio Ponce :

Our contribution to these Recontres intends to analyse the construction of the Spanish State after the civil war (1936-1939). Such an aim implies studying early Francoism (1939-1949) in the context of the political convulsions of the interwar period. Throughout this analysis, we examine key issues, such as the political consequences of extreme situations and conflicts. In this regard, the case of Spain is especially relevant given that the dictatorship of general Franco was built after a civil war and the defeat of a democratic regime, as was the Second Republic. Both facts were also related to the international situation determined by the controversy between communism and fascism.

Our study adopts an interesting approach to clarifying the nature of Francoism. This regime could be considered totalitarian, given its strong ties with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The presence of Falange as the single party in the country pointed to another characteristic of a totalitarian regime. Nevertheless, the Francoist dictatorship was always based on a relatively wide conservative coalition and the army played a significant role providing key support for the dictator. Besides, the international context favoured Franco almost since the outbreak of the civil war. In fact, not only fascist powers helped the Nationalists; the policy of neutrality followed by democratic countries played a significant role during the war, determining its outcome. The importance of British policy towards Spain and the Non-Intervention Committee is particularly worth stressing.

For a better understanding of how the Francoist regime was set up, the study of the state and its functioning is meaningful. The term « state » is generally understood to refer to a central power that controls a territory, but a different approach offers a number of attractive features. We refer to the idea of studying states from below, from the perspective of the local configuration of the state (local governments) and how the relationship between central power and local administration was structured. Our methodology followed focuses on civil governors (similar to French prèfets) and how they conducted local politics in accordance with the instructions and interests of the regime. Governors were responsible for multiple aspects of a province’s governance. They selected majors or presidents of Diputaciones (provincial governments) and were the highest supervisors of a wide range of activities (supplies, agriculture, industry, trade, public order). Ultimately, they managed the provinces on behalf of central government and, in addition to their power, were also provincial chiefs of the « Movimiento » (i.e. Falange).

Consequently, the study of Francoist civil governors is highly relevant to understanding the nature of the regime. The results that will be presented pertain to a research project funded by the Spanish administration (code HAR 2010-19397).

Quelques références bibliographiques relatives aux questions abordées

BAENA DEL ALCÁZAR, Mariano. Élites y conjuntos de poder en España (1939-1992). Un estudio cuantitativo sobre Parlamento, Gobierno y Administración y gran empresa, (Madrid, Tecnos, 1999).

CAZORLA SÁNCHEZ, Antonio: “Dictatorship from Below: Local Politics in the Making of the Francoist State, 1937-1948” en The Journal of Modern History, nº 4 (Dec. 1999).

CLARA, Josep: “Militarismo político y gobiernos civiles durante el franquismo” en Anales de Historia Contemporánea, nº 18 (2002).

DÓRIGA TOVAR, César: “El cargo de Gobernador Civil y Jefe Provincial del Movimiento en el Nuevo Estado español” en Revista de Estudios Políticos, nº 156 (nov/dic 1967).

GENIEYS, William: Les élites espagnoles face à l’État. Changements de régimes politiques et dynamiques centre-périphéries, (Paris, L’Harmattan, 1997).

JEREZ MIR, Miguel: Elites políticas y centros de extracción en España, 1938-1957, (Madrid, CIS, 1982).

PONCE ALBERCA, Julio (coord.): Guerra, Franquismo y Transición. Los gobernadores civiles en Andalucía (1936-1979, (Sevilla, Centro de Estudios Andaluces-Consejería de Presidencia, 2008).

PONCE ALBERCA, Julio: “El Estado en las provincias: gobernadores, diputaciones y ayuntamientos” en NICOLÁS, Encarna y GONZÁLEZ, Carmen: Mundos de ayer, (Murcia, Universidad, 2009), pp. 99-119.

PONCE ALBERCA, Julio: “Poder, adaptación y conflicto. Gobernadores civiles e intereses locales en la España de Franco (1939-1975)” en SEGURA, Antoni, MAYAYO, Andreu y ABELLÓ, Teresa (eds.): La dictadura franquista: la institucionalización de un régimen, (Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, 2012), pp. 96-109.


Émilien Ruiz

Maître de conférences à l'Université de Lille 3 | En savoir plus...

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