In this work, José Álvarez Junco analyzes the process through which Spanish identity was built over the course of the 19th century. The concept of Spain, previously constructed around the monarchy and Catholicism, was consolidated at the beginning of the Contemporary Era with the call to the "War of Independence" against the French. Afterwards, the intellectual elite took on their own cultural construction in terms adapted to the era of nations. However, this task soon came up against obstacles due to constant political instability, economic backwardness, the loss of the empire, and inexistence of foreign threats. To these factors were added the lack of a true national educational system and military service, as well as the interminable debates between liberals and conservatives as to the meaning and political orientation of Spanish identity. Defeat in the war of 1898, which closed outthe century, triggeredthe final identity crisis that led to the alternative nationalistic projects.
Authors > José Álvarez Junco
(Viella, Lérida, Spain, November 8, 1942). He holds a degree in Law (1964) and Political Science (1965) from the University of Madrid and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the same university (1974), which by then was known as the Complutense. He studied English language and civilization at the University of Bristol (1965-66), and similar studies related to the French in Paris (Sorbonne, 1967). In 1968-69, he participated in the Philosophy Ph.D. program at the University of California, San Diego.
He is the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology Chair of Political Thought and Social Movements at the Complutense University of Madrid. From 1992 to 2000, he held the Príncipe de Asturias Chair in the History Department at Tufts University (Boston, Massachusetts), and led a seminar on Iberian Studies at Harvard University's Center for European Studies.
He has worked as a researcher and visiting professor at a variety of foreign universities, including Paris-VIII, Paris-X, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), Colegio de México, St. Antony's College (Oxford), Università de Padova and the Harvard University History Department.
From 2004 to 2008, he headed the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies and is Ex-officio Minister of State.
His most noteworthy books include: La ideología política del anarquismo español (1868-1910) [The political ideology of Spanish anarchism (1868-1910)], Madrid, Siglo XXI, 1976; Populismo, caudillaje y discurso demagógico [Populism, leadership and demagogic discourse] (Editor of the volume and author of the chapter entitled "Magia y ética en la retórica política" [Magic and ethics in political rhetoric]), Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 1987; El Emperador del Paralelo. Alejandro Lerroux y la demagogia populista, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1990. English version, Sussex Academic Press, 2002; The Emergence of Mass-Politics in Spain. Populist Demagoguery and Republican Culture, 1890-1910; Spanish History since 1808. Co-edited with Adrian Shubert. London: Edward Arnold, 1999; Mater Dolorosa. La idea de España en el siglo XIX [Mater Dolorosa. The concept of Spain in the 19th century], Madrid, Taurus, 2001. National Award for Literature (Essay) 2002. Fastenrath Award from the Spanish Royal Academy, November 2003.
He has published articles in Revista de Occidente, Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, Le Mouvement Social, Historia Social, etc., on methodological and conceptual problems related to Spanish social history, movements, revolutions, political thought and cultural politics in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to these academic journals, currently he is publishing a variety of articles and reviews in the daily press, mainly in the Opinion section of El País.