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Democratization (2nd edn)

Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Christian Welzel, and Ronald F. Inglehart
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date: 26 February 2024

p. 826. The Global Wave of Democratizationlocked

p. 826. The Global Wave of Democratizationlocked

  • John Markoff
  •  and Daniel Burridge


This chapter focuses on the great wave of democracy that had touched every continent. In the early 1970s, Western Europe was home to several non-democratic countries, most of Latin America was under military or other forms of authoritarian rule, the eastern half of Europe was ruled by communist parties, much of Asia was undemocratic, and in Africa colonial rule was largely being succeeded by authoritarian regimes. By the early twenty-first century, things had changed considerably, albeit to different degrees in different places. The chapter looks at regions of the world that underwent significant change in democracy between 1972 and 2004, including Mediterranean Europe, Latin America, Soviet/Communist Bloc, Asia, and Africa. It considers what was distinctive about each region’s democratization and what they had in common. It concludes with an overview of challenges faced by democracy in the early twenty-first century.

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