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Book

Cover Democratization

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.

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10. Gender and Democratization  

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.

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18. A Decade of Democratic Decline and Stagnation  

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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17. Social Media  

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.

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21. Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe  

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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22. Post-Soviet Eurasia  

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.

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5. Long Waves and Conjunctures of Democratization  

Dirk Berg-Schlosser

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.

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1. Introduction  

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.

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11. Social Capital and Civil Society  

Natalia Letki

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.

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12. Social Movements and Contention in Democratization Processes  

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).

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14. Political Parties  

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.

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19. Southern Europe  

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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23. The Middle East and North Africa  

Francesco Cavatorta

This chapter examines why democratic openings failed to consolidate in the Middle East and North Africa despite the profound influence of the global wave of democratization on both regions. Authoritarianism persists in the region comprising the Middle East and North Africa. Nevertheless, countries in the region experienced changes since the consolidation of authoritarian rule soon after decolonization. The chapter considers a number of explanations for the durability of authoritarian rule in the Middle East and North Africa in the face of both domestic and international pressures for democratic governance. In particular, it discusses the role of Islamist political actors and Israel. It also looks at the region’s political culture and society, business and economy, and agents of democratization and democratic failure. Finally, it describes institutional challenges for the region’s chances to become more democratic.

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25. East Asia  

Doh Chull Shin and Rollin F. Tusalem

This chapter examines the processes of democratization in East Asia over the past two decades. It first provides a historical background on transitions to democracy in the region before assessing the extent to which third-wave democracies have consolidated by appraising the quality of their performances. Analyses of Freedom House and the World Bank data show that the East Asian region has been slow in responding to the surging wave of global democratization in terms of not only transforming authoritarian regimes into electoral democracies, but also consolidating electoral democracies into well-functioning liberal democracies. The Asian Barometer surveys, on the other hand, reveal that the mass citizenries of China and Singapore endorse their current regime as a well-functioning democracy, and are not much in favour of democratic regime change in their country. The chapter concludes with a discussion of prospects for democratic regime change in China and Singapore.

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3. Democratic and Undemocratic States  

Richard Rose

This chapter discusses the distinction between democratic and undemocratic states, noting that it is not only about whether there are elections: it is about whether or not it there is the rule of law. When both conditions are met, elections are free and fair and the government is accountable to the electorate. When laws can be bent or broken, unfair elections represent the will of governors more than that of the governed. The chapter first defines democratic states and outlines the characteristics of a democratic state before assessing the state of states today. It then considers three kinds of undemocratic states, namely: constitutional oligarchy, plebiscitarian autocracy, and unaccountable autocracy. It also examines how democratization has more often come about by trial and error rather than through gradual evolution and concludes by analysing the dynamics of democratic and undemocratic states.

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6. The Global Wave of Democratization  

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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8. The Political Economy of Democracy  

Patrick Bernhagen

This chapter examines the relationship between democratization and the economy. It first provides an historical overview of the emergence of capitalist democracy before discussing some general problems of the relationship between democracy and capitalism, highlighting the main areas in which the two systems condition each other. It then considers the role of business in democratizing countries, and more specifically the role of business actors in the transition to democracy. It also explores the intricacies of combining major political and economic reforms. Some key points are emphasized; for example, capitalism focuses on property rights while democracy focuses on personal rights. Furthermore, capitalism produces inequality, which can both stimulate and hamper democratization.

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9. Political Culture, Mass Beliefs, and Value Change  

This chapter examines the role of mass beliefs and value change in democratization processes. Building on one of the central assumptions of political culture theory—the congruence thesis—it argues that mass beliefs are of critical importance for a country’s chances to become and remain democratic. Mass beliefs determine whether a political system is accepted as legitimate or not, which has a major impact on a regime’s likelihood of surviving. The chapter first considers how the role of mass beliefs in democratization is addressed in the literature before discussing mass demands for democracy vs popular preferences for democracy. It then discusses regime legitimacy and its relation to economic performance and asks whether emancipative values are caused by democracy. It also explains changes in many countries’ level of democracy and concludes with an analysis of the influence of religion on democratization.

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Cover The Institutions of the European Union

2. The history of EU institutions:  

seven decades of institutional change

Renaud Dehousse and Paul Magnette

EU institutions have frequently been reformed since the origins of what is now the European Union (EU), and particularly so over the past twenty years. This chapter explains why and how this quasi-constant change has taken place. It begins by identifying five phases in this history: the founding, consolidation, relaunch, adaptation, and the current phase of reaction to functional challenges. The chapter then assesses the respective weight of state interests, ideas, and institutions in the evolution of EU institutions. In retrospect, institutional change in the EU appears to have followed a functionalist logic, leading to complex compromises that, in turn, prompt regular calls for ‘simplification’ and democratization.

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16. The Media  

Katrin Voltmer and Gary Rawnsley

This chapter examines the role of the media in processes of democratization. It considers the media’s political, economic, and social environment both in their domestic and international contexts. It also explains how new communications technologies have made it increasingly difficult for authoritarian regimes to hermetically seal their borders to prevent the flow of information in and out of the country. The most noticeable influence of international communications in the process of democratization is the ‘demonstration effect’. The chapter also discusses media-state relations, how market conditions and commercialization affect the media’s ability to fulfil their democratic role, and issues of journalistic professionalism and the quality of reporting. It argues that democracy and the media need each other.