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Introduction to Politics

Introduction to Politics (4th edn)

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

15. p. 337Democracies, Democratization, and Authoritarian Regimeslocked

15. p. 337Democracies, Democratization, and Authoritarian Regimeslocked

  • Peter FerdinandPeter FerdinandEmeritus Reader in Politics and International Relations, University of Warwick


This chapter focuses on democracies, democratization, and authoritarian regimes. It first considers the two main approaches to analysing the global rise of democracy over the last thirty years: first, long-term trends of modernization, and more specifically economic development, that create preconditions for democracy and opportunities for democratic entrepreneurs; and second, the sequences of more short-term events and actions of key actors at moments of national crisis that have precipitated a democratic transition — also known as ‘transitology’. The chapter proceeds by discussing the different types of democracy and the strategies used to measure democracy. It also reviews the more recent literature on authoritarian systems and why they persist. Finally, it examines the challenges that confront democracy in the face of authoritarian revival.

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