This volume is an important contribution to the political science literature on post-Franco Spain. It emphasizes some of the major features of intergovernmental relations (IGR) between the government of the state and the seventeen autonomous communities (AC), as a federal system in all but name has emerged since 1978. Most important, it maps out major state-AC formal relationships in a systematic analytical way as they contribute to the emerging concept of Spanish IGR. In this regard, the scholars who have compiled and analyzed the data reported herein are to be congratulated for a work that is long overdue.
This volume underscores the kind of solid political science work that is necessary to explain the operations of any federal country, along with those with substantial federal features. As such, the study’s emphasis on such topics as the debate over the model of the state, positions of the key actors and protagonists in the unfolding of this model, the distribution and then overlapping of competencies, the stages of development, and most importantly, establishment of the patterns of linkages at state-AC levels lays important groundwork for explaining IGR. In fact, this study begins at similar points as did those related IGR studies in other federal countries, such as in Canada, Germany, the United States and Australia, and more recently in Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.