Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Miguel Centellas

Relational Format



Throughout the mid-twentieth century, Spain was under the control of dictator Francisco Franco. Under Franco's rule, while the rest of the world was modernizing, Spain was a very conservative and traditional society, with many of its traditions and ideals centered on the Catholic Church. As time went on, Franco was forced to loosen his control on Spain ever so slightly, allowing Spain the freedom to begin the process of modernization. However, it was not until after the death of the dictator that the modernization process in Spain was able to fully take off. Spain is a unique case of modernization, as it modernized very rapidly and much later than most of its European neighbors. Using qualitative data such as books and scholarly articles, as well as quantitative data in the form of surveys from the World Values Survey, in addition to comparing Spain with other countries, this thesis examines the validity of Spain as a modern state and attempts to understand the process of modernization that Spain underwent after Franco's death in 1975. Special attention is paid to the three separate modernization spheres: the economic sphere, the social/cultural sphere and the political sphere. Although the three go hand-in-hand this thesis shows that the economy of Spain modernized first, bringing the social/cultural modernization and eventually political modernization with it. Additionally, through the analysis of surveys, and comparison with other countries, it illustrates that Spain is in fact a modern nation by most standards.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

Included in

Sociology Commons



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