Introduction: Lost in Transition?
This chapter looks back at the history of transitology and the conceptualisation of Spain, Greece and Portugal as part of the canon of the “third wave of democratisation”. It measures the distance between the time in which the three countries were dubbed “New European South” and were considered pioneers in terms of democratisation, and the time of the crisis in which a series of social and political contracts forged in the mid- and late-1970s were seriously challenged. It then analyses the ways in which the present volume departs from existing works and states its original contribution to studies in the subject area, in that it combines an appreciation of the public rereadings of transitions at present and a grassroots perspective regarding the connection between present and past social movements. Apart from looking at the state of the art, this chapter sets the parameters of the volume and presents the structure of the book.