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The Crisis of the Dictatorships is Nicos Poulantzas's fourth book. It is a compact study, at once topical and theoretical, of the historical end of the reactionary and authoritarian regimes that have dominated much of Southern Europe. Poulantzas applies the categories of his now standard general works — on Political Power and Social Classes, Fascism and Dictatorship, and Classes in Contemporary Capitalism — to the specific social structures and political systems of Portugal, Spain and Greece. The international environment and the internal dynamic of class conflict in each country are surveyed. The book then assesses the ruling bloc, the popular classes and the State apparatus in Portuguese, Greek and Spanish societies. The result is a novel and powerful analysis of the causes of the fall of the Papadopoulous-Ioannides Junta, the overthrow of the Salazarist State, and the crisis of Franco's heirs, that contrasts these with the end of German Nazism and Italian Fascism thirty years ago. The Crisis of the Dictatorships will be essential reading for all who are concerned with the political future of Europe.