This paper analyses the phenomenon of abstention in nineteenth-century Spanish politics, where the government had great influence over the electoral results and liberty of opinion was not entirely guaranteed. It focuses in particular on the Catalan case. The paper aims to show that the electorate was not, in fact, apathetic or indifferent, but rather self-aware and politically mobilised. Questioning the dominance of patronage over elections, it contributes to the recent studies that have revised the interpretations of nineteenth-century politicisation by exploring the different ways of participating in the political sphere. By looking at abstention as an example of voters’ political expression, it argues that this phenomenon should be seen as evidence of political mobilisation and social and political engagement.
|Journal||Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Mar 2019|