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Sebastian Balfour Contemporary Spanish HistoryEmeritus Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics

Research interests: contemporary Spain, modern Europe and Cuba

My work focuses on contemporary Spanish history, in particular, the consequences of the collapse of the Spanish Empire in 1898, the colonial war in Morocco between 1909 and 1927 and the first deployment by air of chemical weapons against civilians between 1924 and 1927 in Northern Morocco. I have also studied popular movements of protest during the Franco dictatorship and the transition to democracy, arguing that the new democracy in Spain was the result not just of elite settlement but also mass protest.  I also specialise in contemporary Spanish politics, including nationalism, the architecture of the Spanish state, the Spanish Right, social and political protest in contemporary Spain, and the history of Barcelona. The question of identity and nation is also an important focus, including Catalan nationalism and the independence movement. Another area of expertise is the political career of Fidel Castro, the Cuban Revolution and contemporary Cuban politics, including relations between Cuba and the United States. Beyond that, I am interested in the history of modern Europe from the 1750s.

I was on the Scientific Committee of the Museu de Historia de Barcelona that created the new History Museum of Modern Barcelona, Oliva Art├ęs.
Languages I speak are:  Spanish [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Fluent]; Catalan [Spoken: Intermediate, Written: Intermediate]; French [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Fluent]; Italian [Spoken: Intermediate, Written: Intermediate];


If you wish me to speak at one of your events, please click here to contact me.

Watch to hear my recent talk on Spain and Spanish History at the Cervantes Institute in their series on Great British Hispanists