Reading time
Koldo Casla

We are pleased to invite you to the School of Social and Political Science faculty online seminar on Wednesday 14th December, 1pm-2pm.

Dr Koldo Casla, Director of the Human Rights Centre Clinic at the University of Essex will discuss his new book Spain and Its Achilles’ Heels: The Strong Foundations of a Country’s Weaknesses

The seminar will be taking place via Teams and is free to attend. No booking required, just click to join: https://lncn.ac/9m5im8

About the book: Why was Franco exhumed from the Valley of the Fallen in late 2019? How is it that he was there in the first place? Why did Catalonia erupt suddenly in October 2017? Why don’t you hear so much about the Basque Country anymore? How did Podemos gather momentum so quickly in 2014-15, and why did half of that support vanish five years later? Isn’t it counterintuitive that a Catholic-majority country also has the most LGBT-friendly society in the world?

Understanding the most significant events in recent Spanish politics requires spelling out the unspoken but enduring foundations of the country’s deepest fears and weaknesses, its Achilles’ heels. In Greek mythology, an Achilles’ heel is a vulnerability that can lead to downfall despite the apparent general strength of the full body. Casla uses this term to define the underlying factors that, while by no means unique, are characteristic of a particular society, delimit what is possible and shape the political debate. They are the primary political frailties without which a country’s politics cannot be properly comprehended.

Dr Koldo Casla is a Lecturer in Law and the Director of the Human Rights Centre Clinic of the University of Essex. Previously, Casla was Research Associate at the Institute of Health & Society of Newcastle University (2017-19), Policy Director of the UK social rights NGO Just Fair (2016-19), independent researcher on social rights for Amnesty International Spain (2013-19), and Chief of Staff of the Human Rights Commissioner of the Parliament of the Basque Country, Spain (2011-13). Among other publications, Casla is the author of Politics of International Human Rights Law Promotion in Western Europe: Order versus Justice (Routledge 2019) and Spain and Its Achilles’ Heels: The Strong Foundations of a Country’s Weaknesses (Rowman & Littlefield 2021), and co-editor ofSocial Rights and the Constitutional Moment: Learning from Chile and International Experiences (Hart 2022). [LLB (Basque Country), MA Human Rights (Essex), Fulbright MA International Studies (Denver), PhD European and International Studies (King’s College London)]

About the Author


145 Articles

About the Author


30 Articles