Although I agree with most of the analysis, I was dismayed at reading the statement about "1936-39, when the country was torn apart by a civil war triggered by Catalan and Basque separatism." (1) The war was triggered by the insurrection of a subset of military officers. (2) There were neither Catalan nor Basque separatists of any import at the time. (The Catalan government 'insurrection' of October 1934, parallel to the insurrection of Asturian miners, had most to do with Left-Right disagreements.) And The Catalan and Basque nationalist parties were cooperating with the legitimate government of the republic all the time by 1936.
Carles Boix is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.