Democratization and Social Settlements

The Politics of Change in Contemporary Portugal

By Daniel Nataf

Subjects: Development
Paperback : 9780791425909, 289 pages, August 1995
Hardcover : 9780791425893, 289 pages, August 1995

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures

1. Portuguese Democracy from a Comparative and Theoretical Perspective

2. The End of the Dictatorship and Its Hegemonic Project

3. Democratic Consolidation under Dishegemony

4. The Rise of the PSD and Emergence of a National Hegemonic Project among the Mass Public

5. Party Strategies and the Social Bases of Contesting Hegemonic Projects

6. Labor and the Search for a Social Settlement

7. The Politics of Accumulation and Dishegemony

8. Portugal and Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century




Examines the transition to, and consolidation of, democracy in Portugal following the revolutionary events of 1975, during a period of major changes in socioeconomic structure. Nataf emphasizes that not only political institutions but also the fabric of social relations were uprooted, and he compares the Portuguese case to other models of European democratization and postwar settlements.


This book examines the transition and consolidation phases of Portugal's democratization. Unlike more incremental types of democratization, the Portuguese case involved "expanded" democratization in which not only were political institutions replaced but the fabric of social relations uprooted. This resulted in a period of dishegemony in which the policy paradigm was uncertain and highly susceptible to political events and government initiatives. By the late 1980s, a tentative social settlement was established that drew partly from neocorporatist and partly from conflict models of European society.

Nataf relies on diverse materials including government statistics; business, trade union, and party documents; and electoral, census, and survey materials to substantiate his interpretation of the political and social consensus emerging throughout the 1980s. He uses the Portuguese experience to generate a typology of forms of democratization and then applies this analysis to the post-communist world.

Daniel Nataf is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the coauthor of Transitions from Dictatorship to Democracy: Comparative Studies of Spain, Portugal, and Greece.


"This constitutes the first book-length study of the Portuguese transition within a political economy framework that situates the country properly in its international economic and political setting and that incorporates fully a discussion of the relevant social and economic groups. The book's major contribution is to demonstrate how the Portuguese case, which is one of the most significant ruptures with the prior polity and economy, ultimately has led to the consolidation of a democratic regime and a market economy. " — Lawrence Graham, author of The Portuguese Military and the State: Rethinking Transitions in Europe and Latin America"

This book is rich in empirical detail and at the same time develops an interesting and highly abstract theoretical argument. The author's command of the intricacies of Portuguese politics is obvious. " — William Crowther, University of North Carolina at Greensboro