23 F redemption or derailment of Spanish democracy?

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This article studies two competing discourses of one of the most emblematic events of recent Spanish history: the failed 23 February 1981 coup d’etat. It maintains that through the recourse to the metaphors of ‘therapy’ and ‘rite of passage’, the ‘dominant’ discourse (disseminated by an ample majority of the Spanish press) interpreted the coup and its consequences as a moment of redemption in which Spain had left behind its Francoist past. This interpretation will be contrasted with the conceptualisation of the coup offered by the ‘divergent’ discourse (as disseminated by Avui), for which the coup partially triumphed in its political consequences and therefore constituted not a moment of redemption of Spanish democracy but rather a moment in which the fledgling Spanish democracy was derailed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-229
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Iberian Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


  • army
  • coup d'etat
  • discourse
  • history
  • metaphor
  • monarchy


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