Pamela Radcliff

Professor and Chair Department of History

  • Ph.D. (History), Columbia University, May 1990 M.A. (History), Columbia University, Jan.1984   
  • B.A. (History), Scripps College, May 1979

Professor Radcliff is a historian of Modern Spain, whose research has focused on mass politics, gender, civil society and democratic transitions.  Her most recent book, Making Democratic Citizens, explores the grass-roots contribution of ordinary men and women to Spain’s much celebrated democratic transition of the 1970s, through the lens of their participation in civic associations founded under the dictatorship.  In neighborhood, family and homemaker associations established in an expanding civil society between the early 1960s and the late 1970s, the book argues that participants experimented with new practices of civic participation that put pressure on the authoritarian state and constituted the building blocks of a future democratic citizenship.  Whereas most studies of the transition begin with the formal institutional changes of 1976-78, this book situates its origins in a complex process that involved changing state policies, economic and social transformation and a growing culture of participation.  In this analysis, the 1978 Constitution marked the culmination, rather than the start, of “making democratic citizens” and, by extension, of Spain’s democracy.

Current project: Radcliff is writing a synthetic history of 19th and 20th century Spain for Blackwell Press.

  • Modern European History
  • European Labor History
  • Gender History
  • Modern Spain
  • Fascism
  • “European Fascism”
  • “A History of European Nationalism”
  • "Women in Modern Europe, 1870 to the Present"
  • "Women and Collective Action in Europe, 1789-1945"
  • "Fascism, Communism and the Crisis of Liberal  Democracy: Europe, 1918-1945"
  • "The History of Modern Spain, 1800 to the Present"
  • "Making of the Modern World: the 20th Century World"
  • “Gender and Social Movements”
  • Graduate Seminars on Imperialism, Nationalism and Social Movements


From Mobilization to Civil War: The Politics of Polarization in the Spanish City of Gijón, 1900-1937 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996).

(Spanish translation: De la movilizacion a la guerra civil: historia politica y social de Gijon, 1900-1937 (Madrid, Debate, 2004)

Constructing Spanish Womanhood: Female Identity in Modern Spain , co-edited with Victoria Enders.  (SUNY Press, 1999).

Making Democratic Citizens in Spain: Civil Society and the Popular Origins of the Democratic Transition, 1960-1978 (London: Palgrave Macmillan), 2011

Articles and Chapters:

“Ciudadanas: las mujeres de las AAVVs y la identidad de genero en los años setenta”, in Memoria Ciudadana y Movimiento Vecinal: Madrid, 1968-2008, edited by Pablo Sanchez Leon y Vicente Perez Quintana (Madrid: Editorial FRAVM, 2008).

“La Transición Española de una perspectiva comparativa”, in España Contemporánea: Desde una perspectiva comparativa, edited by Nigel Townson (Madrid: Taurus, 2010)
“La iglesia catolica y la transicion a la democracia: Un nuevo punto de partida”, in Iglesia y estado en la España contemporánea, edited by Carolyn Boyd (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Politicos y Constitucionales, 2007). 

“The Revival of Associational Life under the Late Franco Regime:    Neighbourhood and Family Associations and the Social Origins of the Transition”, in Spain Transformed: The Franco Dictatorship: 1959-1975, edited by Nigel Townson, (London: Palgrave, 2007). (Spanish translation: Espana en cambio: el segundo franquismo, Madrid: Siglo XXI, 2009).

“Ciudadanía y la Transición”, in La construcción de la ciudadanía en la España contemporánea. De súbditos de la Corona a ciudadanos europeos, edited by Manuel Perez Ledesma, (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Politicos y Constitucionales, 2007).

“The Culture of Empowerment in Gijón, 1936-1937", in The Splintering of Spain: Cultural History and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1945, edited by Chris Ealham and Michael Richards (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

“Citizens and Housewives: The Problem of Female Citizenship in Spain’s Transition to Democracy”, Journal of Social History, fall 2002.

“Imagining Female Citizenship in the ‘New Spain’: Gendering the Democratic Transition, 1975-1978", Gender and History, special issue, “Gender, Citizenships and Subjectivities”, Vol.13, No.3, November 2001.

“Introduction: Contesting Identities/Contesting Categories”, with Victoria Enders, Constructing Spanish Womanhood, edited by Victoria Enders and Pamela Radcliff (SUNY Press, 1999).

"Women's Politics: Consumer Riots in Twentieth Century Spain", published in Constructing Spanish Womanhood, edited by Victoria Enders and Pamela Radcliff (SUNY Press, 1999).

"La representacíon de la nación. El conflicto en torno a la identidad nacional y las prácticas simbólicas en la Segunda República", published in Cultura y movilización en la España contemporánea, edited by Manuel Pérez Ledesma and Rafael Cruz (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1997).

"The Emerging Challenge of Mass Politics", published in Spain Since 1808, edited by Adrian Shubert and Jose Alvarez Junco, (London: Edward Arnold, 2000).

"Elite Women Workers and Collective Action: The Cigarette Makers  of Gijón, 1890_1930", Journal of Social History 27 (fall 1993).

"Política y cultura republicana en el Gijón de fin de siglo", published in el republicanismo en España, 1830-1977, edited by Nigel Townson (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1994).