Gunther Archive of the Spanish Transition

The Gunther Archive contains a set of 214 interviews conducted by Professor Richard Gunther in 1978, 1979, 1981, and 1983, five more interviews were added later on by Professor Hans Jürgen Puhle in 1995. Respondents were selected from National and Provincial leaders of the then most important Spanish political parties: Union of Democratic Centre (UCD), the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Communist Party of Spain (PCE), Alianza Popular (AP) Democratic Coalition of Catalonia (CDC) and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV).

Interviews with leaders maintain a background questionnaire which analyzes the formation of political parties, preparation of the election campaign, the number of members, the formation of a political culture among citizens, the role of unions, the constitutional debate, analysis of the general elections of 1977 and 1979, the transformation of UCD, the coup of 23 February, the rise of new parties (CDS), etc.. These topics covered fundamental issues as the role of the Crown, the language issue, the military, terrorism, or the State of AutonomíLas, among others.

The result of these interviews are included in the work of Richard Gunther, Giacomo Sani and Goldie Shabad (1985) Spain after Franco: The making of a competitive party system. (Berkeley, CA.: University of California Press, 1985).

The Gunther Archive is held at the Library of the Fundación Juan March, and consists of written transcripts of the interviews. The original tapes are held by Richard Gunther. Anyone wishing to access the archive must contact the Library of the Fundación Juan March (

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