Spanish “Recovery of Historical Memory” Organizations As “Pressure Groups”

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Spanish “Recovery of Historical Memory” Organizations As “Pressure Groups”

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: Spanish “Recovery of Historical Memory” Organizations As “Pressure Groups”
Author: IJsenbrand, Birger Eerke Wessel
Issue Date: 2019
Keywords: Spain
Collective Memory
Spanish Civil War
Recovery of Historical Memory
Exhumation Organizations
Pressure Groups
Political Science
Abstract: This thesis examines how contemporary Spanish “Recovery of Historical Memory” have acted as “pressure groups” in their quest to gain recognition for approximately 30.000 Republicans that died of Francoist violence and who are buried in hundreds of mass graves throughout Spain until today. In order to do so, this work performs a case study analysis of two Spanish “Recovery of Historical Memory” organizations, ARMH and Foro, and examines what activities these associations have carried out between their emergence in 2000 and 2007, when Spain implemented a Historical Memory law. The information in this thesis is based on secondary literature, primary sources, Spanish blogposts by members of both ARMH and Foro on their official websites respectively and interviews that the author has conducted with association members from ARMH in Spanish. The main argument that will be put forth, is that there have been four ways through which the associations have acted as “pressure groups” and have tried to gain public recognition for the Republican dead: (1) via the use of media campaigns, (2) by organizing protests, (3) by means of popular participation in national politics and (4) via collaboration with international organizations. In addition to this, this thesis argues that ARMH has been the most successful in influencing the Spanish government, by pressuring Madrid through their collaboration with international organizations. Moreover, this thesis contributes to two main bodies of scholarly literature: “pressure groups” and “Recovery of Historical Memory” literature since it provides new insights in how “Recovery of Historical Memory” organizations act as “pressure groups”, and it diversifies the existing scholarship that deals with these “Recovery of Historical Memory” organizations by considering both ARMH and Foro.
Supervisor: Steen, Bart van der
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: International Studies (Bachelor)
ECTS Credits: 15

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