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Foreign correspondents in Francoist Spain (1945-1975)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

This thesis will examine the foreign press corps in Francoist Spain from 1945 until 1975. After the end of the Second World War, the Franco regime was internationally isolated as a result of its ties with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. However, the dictatorship returned to the international stage during the 1950s and managed to survive on the margins of the Cold War world order until the death of Franco in 1975. Throughout these 30 years and while never loosening its dictatorial control over Spain, the Franco regime continuously tried to improve its international position and image beyond mere toleration. Foreign correspondents were working at the centre of this balancing act.
Against this backdrop, this thesis has two central aims. First, it will examine the regime’s policy towards the foreign press. The thesis will show that the Francoist authorities never fully accepted the foreign press corps’ work within Spain and tried to exercise control over the foreign press corps until the end of the regime. Throughout the regime’s internal and external development, however, the Francoist authorities adapted the means they employed. At the same time, conflicting interests and strategies within the Franco regime shaped its policy towards the foreign press. This thesis will further show that conflicts with correspondents partially had their roots in the importance of the foreign press, distributed within Spain, for the Spanish public in general and the political opposition in particular.
Second, this thesis will examine the foreign press corps itself. The presence of correspondents in Spain reflected the international media interest and the Franco regime’s changing international perception. As this thesis will further show, the composition of the foreign press corps also reflected the right-wing dictatorship’s ideological orientation and changing foreign relations.
Through the examination of the foreign press corps, this thesis will break new ground in the understanding of the Franco regime. It will do so based on archival research in Spain, Germany, France, and Great Britain as well as interviews with former correspondents. The thesis applies a mixed-method approach, combining concepts and methods from historical research and the social sciences. As such, it will also contribute from a methodological perspective to current research on foreign correspondence.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award dateMar 2016

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