Portugal experienced rapid and dramatic change over the final decades of the twentieth century. After the turbulence that followed the 1974 revolution, the 1980s and 1990s provided a period of unprecedented political stability and economic modernization during which Portugal converged rapidly with the wealthier member states of the European Union. This important new volume offers a timely focus on this recent period. Written for a wide audience by a multidisciplinary team of experts, the book provides an accessible overview and analysis of the key dimensions of recent economic and political change in Portugal and identifies the tensions and policy challenges that rapid change has produced. In so doing the book reveals something of the complexity of contemporary Portugal; an outward looking modern, democratic and European state, but one where the legacy of its recent traditional, colonial and often inward looking past continues to influence and shape its development in the twenty-first century.