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Politics (1st edn)

Peter Ferdinand, Robert Garner, and Stephanie Lawson
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date: 21 July 2024

p. 955. Democracies, Democratization, and Authoritarian Regimeslocked

p. 955. Democracies, Democratization, and Authoritarian Regimeslocked

  • Peter Ferdinand, Peter FerdinandEmeritus Reader in Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
  • Robert GarnerRobert GarnerProfessor of Politics, University of Leicester
  •  and Stephanie LawsonStephanie LawsonProfessor of Politics and International Studies, Macquarie University


This chapter examines democracy and democratization in relation to authoritarian regimes. It begins with a discussion of the three ‘waves’ of democratization that have occurred worldwide since the nineteenth century, the third of which began in 1974 with the demise of the long-standing authoritarian regime in Portugal, followed by the end of Franco's dictatorship in Spain in 1975. The chapter goes on to consider the main approaches to analysing democratization, different analytical models of democracy such as polyarchy and liberal democracy, and indexes to measure democracy. It also reviews the more recent literature on authoritarianism and the reasons for its persistence before concluding with an assessment of the challenges that confront democracy in the face of authoritarian revival.

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