The Political Economy of the Carnation Revolution (1974–75)
A World-Systems Analysis
Keywords:Socialism, World-System, Semi-Periphery, Carnation Revolution, Political Economy
Following the military coup of April 25th, 1974, Portugal experienced a revolutionary period characterized by unprecedented levels of labor unrest and political radicalization. As the social landscape suffered a profound transformation, key-sectors of the economy were nationalized, many firms went into self-management, and large areas of the south were swept by land occupation. When the country’s democratic Constitution was brought to vote on April 2, 1976, it contained numerous references to “socialism,” “self-management,” “planning,” and “agrarian reform,” bearing witness to a widespread commitment to build a “classless society.” What eventually took shape, however, was a mixed economy under a parliamentary regime, very similar to that of countries like Greece and Spain, both of which experienced far less dramatic democratic transitions. Drawing on the writings of Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi, and Boaventura de Sousa Santos, this article analyzes the plans and strategies devised to ensure a socialist transition in the semiperiphery of the capitalist world-system during the 1970s.
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