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Democratization (2nd edn)

Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Christian Welzel, and Ronald F. Inglehart
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date: 27 February 2024

p. 28519. Southern Europelocked

p. 28519. Southern Europelocked

  • Richard Gunther


This chapter examines the political consequences of different types of regime change in Southern Europe by comparing democratic transitions via ‘elite pacts’ or ‘elite convergence’ with those involving much higher levels of mass mobilization. It begins with overviews of the distinguishing features of the transitions to democracy in Portugal, Greece, and Spain, along with some observations about how the processes of regime transformation affected the conduct of politics for several years after democracy was established. It then considers the relevance of international actors and events, economic factors, as well as social-structural and cultural characteristics to processes of regime change. It also discusses lessons that can be drawn from the experiences of Portugal, Greece, and Spain and shows that the type of regime transition can have a significant impact on the success of democratization.

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