Seminar

The Carnation Revolution: 50 years of Portuguese democracy

  • April
  • London

Held to mark the anniversary of Portugal's Carnation Revolution, which resulted in the country's transition away from autocratic rule from 1974, Canning House gathers a panel to discuss half a century of Portuguese democracy.

The Carnation Revolution

50 years of Portuguese democracy

Held to mark the anniversary of Portugal's Carnation Revolution, which resulted in the country's transition away from autocratic rule from 1974, Canning House gathers a panel to discuss half a century of Portuguese democracy.

The Carnation Revolution, on 25 April 1974, marked the end of the Estado Novo government. Since 1933, this regime had ruled Portugal under António de Oliveira Salazar, its Prime Minister and dictator, until his replacement due to poor health in 1968 by Marcelo Caetano. 

With the overthrow of Caetano and the Estado Novo, Portugal's transition to democracy began. Portugal's long-running wars in theatres across Africa ended on the same day or shortly thereafter, with several of its colonies soon becoming independent, as the sovereign states of Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor.

In Portugal, the Revolution occurred almost without a single shot being fired. Carnations, the flowers placed in the barrels of soldiers' guns or on their uniforms, became an iconic and abiding symbol of the revolutionary day.

Our panellists assess the impact of the Carnation Revolution, the country's modern and contemporary economic history, depictions and understandings of the Revolution, and the state of Portuguese democracy today.

PANEL

Moderator: Nick McCall

Chairman, Canning House

Prof. Francisco Bethencourt

Charles Boxer Professor of History - King's College London

Prof. Ricardo Reis

Arthur Williams Phillips Professor of Economics - London School of Economics

Dr Alexandra Lourenco Dias

Director, Camoes Centre, King's College London

Dr Tiago Fernandes

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Public Policy - ISCTE, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

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