Phoenix from the Ashes. The PSOE Government under Rodríguez Zapatero 2004-2007: a new model for social democracy?

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Abstract

It is accepted wisdom that the result of the general election of March 2004 was decided more by the ruling Popular Party government?s inept handling of the aftermath of the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on Madrid rather than by any particular trust in the competence of the opposition PSOE. In this sense, the election was lost rather than won. Consequently, the Spanish population had little reason to expect much of a minority Socialist administration led by the relatively unknown Rodríguez Zapatero. His government has nevertheless been able to implement a wide-ranging reform agenda, which, in several respects, can be considered genuinely radical. With three of the four years of its term in government completed, the PSOE approaches the 2008 general election confident of gaining a further victory. Indeed, the PP shows all the signs of exhaustion, division and lack of direction displayed by the pre-Zapatero PSOE between 1996 and 2000. The article considers the PSOE?s recovery under Rodríguez Zapatero and provides an assessment of the main areas of government policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187--206
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Iberian Studies
Volume20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007

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