Despite a cascade of corruption scandals over the last decade, the role of political corruption has yet to be accounted for in the scholarship on Spanish urban entrepreneurialism. This is an omission that extends to the broader literature on the topic as well. This paper looks at the theoretical causes of this neglect and explores ways of integrating corruption into the study of urban entrepreneurialism. To do so, it offers a systematic analysis of the role of clientelism in the political economy of Spanish inter-urban competition. Contrary to the existing literature, which at best explains away corruption as a logical outgrowth of intensified competition for real estate capital, this paper argues that corruption is rooted in a political structure that precedes the emergence of urban entrepreneurialism. This structure is identified as an “iron triangle”, a complex of colluding interests formed by the state, the real estate industry, and political parties.
Moreno Zacarés, J. (2020). The Iron Triangle of Urban Entrepreneurialism: The Political Economy of Urban Corruption in Spain. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, 52(5), 1351-1372. https://doi.org/10.1111/anti.12637