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New article on fishing and Francoist autarky in Journal of Historical Geography
| | News| 09/02/2016

Santiago Gorostiza and Miquel Ortega (EN members) have recently published in the Journal of Historical Geography an article about fishing and autarky Franco. The article is entitled “‘The Unclaimed latifundium’: the configuration of the Spanish fishing sector under Francoist autarky, 1939-1951.”

The article is an investigation of environmental history and geography on the concept of autonomy and self-sufficiency projects nationwide. The case studies are the first years of the Franco dictatorship and the reforms applied to the autarkic fishing industry. Examines how these impacted on the social organization of fishermen, the fishing organization of public administration and the expansion of the Spanish fishing fleet long range. The main sources are the background of Juan Antonio Suanzes, the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI), or the background of Carrero Blanco.


Autarkic ideology and economic policies were central features of the interwar period in Europe. Despite autarky’s connection to geographical concepts such as space, resources and population, its historical impact has been relatively little explored in the literature. In this article, we first present how the concept of ‘autarky’ conflates two etymological meanings: self-sufficiency and authoritarianism. We then explore this duality, using archival sources, by examining the social and economic policies applied to the fishing sector in Francoist Spain between 1939 and 1951. On the one hand, we examine the repression and transformation of the fishers’ social world. On the other, we study the impact of public policies on the marine fishing fleet, underlining the importance of the militaristic guidelines that shaped the reforms. We argue that these autarkic reforms have had long-term consequences that are still visible today. They represented a rupture for the associative environment of fishers and shaped the future characteristics of the fleet, as well as its pattern of geographical expansion.

Access to the article