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Book

Christian Welzel and Ronald F. Inglehart

Edited by Christian W. Haerpfer and Patrick Bernhagen

Democratization introduces the theoretical and practical dimensions of democratization. Focusing on the ‘global wave of democratization’ that has advanced since the early 1970s, this text examines the major perspectives, approaches, and insights that have informed research on democratization. The book is divided into four parts based on four aspects of democratization. Part One deals with theoretical and historical perspectives; Part Two focuses on causes and dimensions of democratization; Part Three looks at actors and institutions; and Part Four is concerned with regions of democratization such as Southern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia. Topics include the distinction between democratic and undemocratic states, the role of democratization in foreign policy, and the contributions of social movements, protest, and transnational advocacy networks to democratic transition. Key themes covered in this thoroughly revised and updated second edition include: theories of democratization; critical prerequisites and driving social forces of the transition to democracy; pivotal actors and institutions involved in democratization; conditions for democratic survival and the analysis of failed democratization; demonstrations of how these factors have played a role in the different regions in which the global wave of democratization transplaced authoritarian and communist systems; and possible futures of democratization worldwide.

Chapter

M. Steven Fish, Jason Wittenberg, and Laura Jakli

This chapter examines key factors that lead to failed democratization. It first describes five categories of countries: established democracies, established autocracies, robust democratizers, tenuous democratizers, and failed democratizers. Using the Freedom House Index, it explains why some democratizers slid backwards while others did not. In particular, it looks at the conditions that undermine democracy and political actors, such as the chief executive, that contribute to democratization’s derailment. The chapter identifies several major structural factors that influence whether democratization succeeds fully, succeeds partially, or fails. These include poverty, a late history of national independence, a large Muslim population, economic reliance on oil and gas, and gender inequality. The chapter concludes by considering ways of reducing the hazards of democratic reversal and preventing relapses into authoritarianism, such as strengthening legislatures and curtailing executive power.

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Pamela Paxton and Kristopher Velasco

This chapter examines the role of gender in democracy and democratization. It first considers how gender figures in definitions of democracy, noting that while women may appear to be included in definitions of democracy, they are often not included in practice. It then explores women’s democratic representation, making a distinction between formal, descriptive, and substantive representation. Women’s formal political representation is highlighted by focusing on the fight for women’s suffrage, whereas women’s descriptive representation is illustrated with detailed information on women’s political participation around the world. Finally, the chapter discusses the role of women in recent democratization movements around the world.

Chapter

Larry Diamond and Zak Whittington

This chapter examines the role of social media in processes of democratization. Facilitating rapid and decentralized communication among a wide range of actors, social media have played a particularly potent role in the past decade in facilitating the mobilization of protest against authoritarian regimes, the exposure of corruption and human rights abuses, and the monitoring of elections to expose electoral fraud. The chapter explores how social media have provided new tools for challenging dominant parties. It also looks at the ways in which authoritarian regimes censor and suppress access to these tools, while appropriating them for their own purposes of propaganda and control.

Chapter

David Potter, Alan Thomas, and María del Pilar López-Uribe

This chapter investigates the concepts of liberal democracy, democratization, and governance and how they relate to development. There are several critiques of liberal democracy, which mostly correspond to well-known problems for any political regime. They include the 'tyranny of the majority', élite capture, clientelism, and the threat of populist capture. Alternative models claimed by their proponents to be democratic include illiberal democracy, direct democracy, and democratic centralism. Especially for proponents of market economy, liberal democracy and economic development are seen as complementary aspects of modern society. However, it is not clear that democratization leads to development. Successful development requires a supportive institutional environment. This may occur in a liberal democracy but it is not democracy itself that matters but 'something else' — which may be called 'quality of governance', including impartiality and effectiveness.

Chapter

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.

Chapter

Christian W. Haerpfer and Kseniya Kizilova

This chapter examines the democratic revolutions that occurred in post-Soviet Eurasia since 1989. It first considers the beginning of the decline of communism and the failed attempts to reform communist one-party states from 1970 to 1988 as stage one of democratization. It then discusses the end of communist regimes as the second stage of democratization—between 1989 and 1991. It also looks at stage three of the democratization process, which focuses on the creation of new democracies. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the main drivers of successful democratization in post-Soviet Eurasia.

Chapter

Christian W. Haerpfer and Kseniya Kizilova

This chapter examines the democratic revolutions that occurred in post-communist Europe since 1989. It first considers the beginning of the decline of communism and the failed attempts to reform communist one-party states from 1970 to 1988 as stage one of democratization. It then discusses the end of communist regimes as the second stage of democratization—between 1989 and 1991. It also looks at stage three of the democratization process, which focuses on the creation of new democracies. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the main drivers of successful democratization in post-communist Europe.

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This chapter focuses on the history of democratization since the late eighteenth century. It introduces the concepts of ‘waves’ (trends) and ‘conjunctures’ (briefer turmoils) and delineates the major developments in this respect. In this way, the major long-term and short-term factors leading to the emergence and breakdowns of democracies are also highlighted. The first long wave occurred during the period 1776–1914, followed by the first positive conjuncture in 1918–19, the second long wave (with some intermittent turbulences) in 1945–88, and the latest conjuncture in 1989–90. The chapter identifies the main ingredients to democratization throughout history, namely: republicanism, representation, and political equality. It concludes by considering some of the current perspectives and dangers for the future of democracy.

Chapter

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.

Chapter

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).

Chapter

Leonardo Morlino

This chapter examines the role of political parties in the processes of democratization, that is, during transition, installation, and consolidation, and the possible phases of democratic crisis. It first considers the definition of a political party within the processes of democratization before discussing how parties can be indispensable for the actual working of democracy. It then explores the actual role of political parties during transitions to democracy and during democratic consolidation, and in different types of crises. It also describes basic patterns of transition to democracy as well as key elements of democratic consolidation, including electoral stabilization and emergence of recurring patterns of party competition. The chapter shows that parties are dominant in the process of transition, even if not always hegemonic.

Chapter

This chapter examines the role of civil society and social capital in democratization processes. It begins by reconstructing the definitions of civil society and social capital in the context of political change, followed by an analysis of the ways in which civil society and social capital are functional for the initiation and consolidation of democracies. It then considers the relationship between civil society and attitudes of trust and reciprocity, the function of networks and associations in democratization, paradoxes of civil society and social capital in new democracies, and the main arguments cast against the idea that civic activism and attitudes are a necessary precondition for a modern democracy. The chapter argues that civil society and social capital and their relation to political and economic institutions are context specific.

Chapter

20. Indonesia  

Dynamics of Regime Change

Gyda Marås Sindre

This chapter examines the dynamics of regime change in Indonesia since 1998, with a particular focus on political mobilization against the backdrop of institutional reform. In the decade since the collapse of the ‘New Order’ — that is, the authoritarian military-based regime that governed Indonesia from 1966 to 1998 — Indonesia has become one of the few success stories in the post-1970s wave of democratization in the Global South. In addition to being considered the most stable and the freest democracy in South East Asia, Indonesia remains the region’s largest and fastest growing economy. The chapter first provides an overview of the legacies of authoritarianism in Indonesia before discussing the government’s radical reform agenda of democratization and decentralization after 1998. It then looks at political mobilization and participation that accompanied regime change in Indonesia and concludes with an assessment of the role of civil society in political mobilization.

Chapter

23. Mexico  

Transition to Civil War Democracy

Andreas Schedler

This chapter examines Mexico’s gradual and largely peaceful transition to democracy, followed by a sudden descent into civil war. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, Mexico’s major challenge was political democratization. Today, it is organized criminal violence. Vicente Fox’s victory in the presidential elections of 2000 ended more than seventy years of hegemonic party rule. However, a civil war soon broke out, sparking a pandemic escalation of violence related to organized crime. The chapter first traces the history of Mexico from its independence in 1821 to the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 before discussing the foundations of electoral authoritarianism in the country. It then considers the structural bases of regime change in Mexico, along with the process of democratization by elections. It concludes by analysing why a civil war broke out in Mexico following its transition to democracy.

Chapter

Aníbal Pérez-Liñán

This chapter examines the key features of modern democracy, as well as its origins. It first explains what democracy means in the field of comparative politics, before discussing different models of democracy, including presidential democracy, parliamentary democracy, and democracies oriented towards consensus or majoritarian rule. It then describes the conditions—economic and political, domestic, and international—that allow some countries to become democratic but preserve others under the rule of dictatorships. In particular, it analyses the variables that facilitate the democratization of dictatorships and the factors that place democracies at risk of becoming authoritarian regimes. Finally, it reflects on the future of democracy and looks at the challenges that lie ahead for new generations of citizens.

Chapter

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.

Book

Edited by Daniele Caramani

Comparative Politics provides an introduction to the field. Comparative politics is an empirical science that deals primarily with domestic politics. It is one of the three main subfields of political science, alongside international relations and political theory. The text provides a comprehensive introduction to comparative politics. It includes three chapters dedicated to familiarizing readers with the comparative approach, discussing substance as well as method. It then guides readers through a thematically organized, comprehensive analysis of the core methods, theories, and concepts in comparative politics. Empirical data is drawn on to demonstrate key similarities and differences of political systems in practice. Increased focus is given to the Global South and its path towards democratization. At the end of each chapter, there are questions designed to encourage critical thinking. The six sections of the work deal with: theories and methods; the historical context; structures and institutions; actors and processes; public policies; and beyond the nation-state.

Chapter

Raymond Hinnebusch and Anoushiravan Ehteshami

This chapter studies foreign policymaking by regional states in the Middle East based on a ‘complex realist’ approach. This acknowledges the weight of realist arguments but highlights other factors such as the level of dependency on the United States, processes of democratization, and the role of leadership in informing states' foreign policy choices. To illustrate this approach, the chapter examines decision-making by four leading states — Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt — in relation to the key events and crises of the last decade: the 2003 Iraq War; the 2006 Hezbollah War; and the post-2014 War with the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS). The cases indicate that, as realists expect, states' foreign policies chiefly respond to threats and opportunities, as determined by their relative power positions.

Chapter

Christian Welzel, Ronald Inglehart, Patrick Bernhangen, and Christian W. Haerpfer

This chapter introduces the new edition of Democratization against the backdrop of a new pessimism about Democracy. It anticipates the major themes pursued in the book by discussing democracy’s persistent culture-boundedness and societal pre-conditions. The chapter concludes by highlighting economic inequality as major threat to democracy while emphasizing democracy’s value for human, political, and social life.