HEAD OF FRANCO STATE: FROM THE "SOVEREIGN" DICTATOR TO THE "INSTITUTIONALIZED" RULER

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Abstract


The article is devoted to the development of the institute of the head of state in Spain in 1939-1975. The importance of the analysis is determined by the increased role of the heads of state in domestic and international affairs and the popularity of the term. The Spanish experience seems to be useful for research of this phenomenon. Franco's main post was named "head of state" (Jefe del Estado) legally, and the officially recognized institution with the same name (Jefatura del Estado) formalized his status. In comparison with the "head of state" in the doctrine of Constant, he did not function in the system of separation of powers, but named a ruler with a personal absolute lifelong power. The legal term "head of state" became a synonym for the political term "dictator". Franco’s experience demonstrated the non-democratic nature of the institute of head of state. It was also emphasized by the title "caudillo", indicating its leadership and its mission to restore the former "greatness" of Spain. Franco’s government was to be characterized by the features of "sovereign dictatorship", described by C. Schmitt. By analyzing features of the institution of the post, formation of the same institute and their development, the author notices the potential of the institute of head of state during Franco's authoritarian regime. Two periods are distinguished in the history of the institute. During the first, after the Civil War (1939) and before the adoption of the law "On Succession" (1947), Franco's constitutional activity was aimed to create a "new" nationalist state, struggling against internal and external enemies. Unlimited power in a militarized state became the basis for the domination of “decessionism”, and the state itself was identified with its head personally. In the course of the second period, 1947-1975, the constitutional power of the caudillo began the "institutionalization" of a "social and representative" state which was proclaimed as a monarchy again. Franco’s "fundamental" laws not only created a quasi-constitutional facade of the regime, but consolidated the head of state's self-limited powers and its status in the system of established state bodies, a mechanism to transfer his power to the future king. Spanish state was no longer identified with the head of state. He was declared a representative of the nation and ensured the unity of state power. Franco remained an extraordinary head of state till the end of his life. The mechanism he introduced "worked" after his death in Spain and created the opportunity for a transition from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one, from "institutionalization" to constitutionalism.


About the authors

Tatiana A Alexeeva

National Research University "Higher School of Economics"

Author for correspondence.
Email: ta_al@mail.ru
3, Trekhsvyatitelsky per., Moscow, Russia, 109028B

Candidate of Legal Science, Associate Professor, National Research University "Higher School of Economics"

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