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An exceptional response? security, development and civil society in Spanish policy after 11-M

By Alejandro Colas


This article considers the ways in which Spanish state institutions responded to the Madrid bombings of 11 March 2004 in the context of the global 'War on Terror'. It examines three inter-related arenas of Spanish policy after 9/11 in which security and civil society are invoked in ways that impact upon the country's development agenda toward its southern Mediterranean partners. The first relates to Spain's external relations with its North African neighbours, and in particular the place of migration in shaping these relations over the last decade. The second concerns Spain's political relations with the representative organizations of its own Muslim populations. A third area of analysis pertains to the juridical-institutional reactions of the state to the 11 March attacks: how have public authorities and civil society been affected and refashioned in the face of jihadist terrorism on the peninsula? The author argues that in each of these domains, the post-9/11 context generally, and the 11 March attacks in particular, have elicited a securitization of civil society, which has in turn been associated with the country's international relations and domestic politics. Such securitization, however, has only been partially successful, thus vindicating the continuation of 'politics as usual' among Spain's state officials and its civil society

Topics: polsoc
Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2010.01636.x
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