Theses Doctoral

Toxic Criminalities in Francoist Spain: The Making of a European Dictatorship

Atutxa, Ibai

This dissertation investigates the transformation undergone by the Francoist dictatorship (1939-1978) in Spain in the 1950s and 1960s, which occurred under conditions of neoliberal rationalities and petroleum toxicity –petrotoxicty. It addresses the transformation at three levels: the dictatorship’s criminalized bodies; the Francoist national political project; and early transnational attempts for European unification. By exploring an archive of laws, mass media, and intellectual dialogues, the dissertation contends that there was a shift in regimes of criminality that allowed the dictatorship in the south and Europe in the north to establish the initial form of their coalition.
The dissertation addresses processes of recognition of criminality by establishing a critical framework that examines the transition from a dominant paradigm of disease toxicity to one of petrotoxicity. In proposing that this transition took place together with the development of neoliberalism, the dissertation argues that the neoliberal regime operated during its period of consolidation by generalizing, at national and transnational scales, forms of exclusion and inclusion that were characteristic of what the text presents as the “petrotoxic regime of criminality.”
By conducting the analysis through the lens of the petrotoxic regime of criminality, the dissertation offers a fresh perspective to the debate within Spanish Peninsular Cultural Studies about the seemingly contradictory nature that the Francoist dictatorship acquired during this period; both anti-modern and modern; both Catholic fundamentalist and neoliberal capitalist. It allows us to shed light on a process of revaluation of the regime’s toxic nature that resulted in a Catholic Fundamentalist Capitalist dictatorship.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Thesis Advisors
Medina, Alberto
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 1, 2018