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Democratization (2nd edn)

Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Christian Welzel, and Ronald F. Inglehart
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date: 30 May 2023

p. 18212. Social Movements and Contention in Democratization Processeslocked

p. 18212. Social Movements and Contention in Democratization Processeslocked

  • Federico M. Rossi
  •  and Donatella della Porta


This chapter explores the relationship between social movements, trade unions, and transnational advocacy networks of resistance to non-democratic regimes in the global wave of democratization. It considers views from social movement studies within the democratization literature as well as views of democratization within the social movement literature. It also examines the diverse roles played by movements, depending on the type of democratization process and the stage in which mobilizations emerge (resistance, liberalization, transition to procedural democracy, consolidation, expansion). The chapter identifies a host of factors that produce the most favourable setting for democratization, including a non-syndical strike wave and/or a pro-democracy cycle of protest; increased political organization in urban areas, and a relatively dense resistance network; and the existence of pro-democratic elites able to integrate the demands for democracy coming from below (at least until transition is well initiated).

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