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- Democratic Transition and Consolidation
- Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation
Linz and Alfred Stepan have increasingly focused on the questions of how, in the modern world, nondemocratic regimes can be eroded and democratic regimes crafted. In Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, they break new ground in numerous areas. They reconceptualize the major types of modern nondemocratic regimes and point out for each type the available paths to democratic transition and the tasks of democratic consolidation. They argue that, although "nation-state" and "democracy" often have conflicting logics, multiple and complementary political identities are feasible under a common roof of state-guaranteed rights. They also illustrate how, without an effective state, there can be neither effective citizenship nor successful privatization. Further, they provide criteria and evidence for politicians and scholars alike to distinguish between democratic consolidation and pseudo-democratization, and they present conceptually driven survey data for the fourteen countries studied. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation contains the first systematic comparative analysis of the process of democratic consolidation in southern Europe and the southern cone of South America, and it is the first book to ground post-Communist Europe within the literature of comparative politics and democratic theory.
Democratic Transition and Consolidation
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Linz and A. Linz , A. Stepan Published Political Science, Geography.
Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation
A democracy becomes consolidated—that is, it is expected to endure—when political actors accept the legitimacy of democracy and no actor seeks to act outside democratic institutions for both normative and self-interested reasons. On one the hand, when democracy becomes routinized, institutionalized, and normalized, acting outside or in violation of democratic norms is both unappealing and disadvantageous for politicians and other political actors. On the other hand, equating consolidation with endurance may strike some scholars and students as a descriptive tautology; consolidated democracies are those that survive, and surviving democracies are those that are consolidated. The way in which to measure and define consolidation, therefore, is debated by scholars in the field.
Democratization , process through which a political regime becomes democratic. The explosive spread of democracy around the world beginning in the midth century radically transformed the international political landscape from one in which democracies were the exception to one in which they were the rule. The increased interest in democratization among academics, policy makers, and activists alike is in large part due to the strengthening of international norms that associate democracy with many important positive outcomes, from respect for human rights to economic prosperity to security. Transitions to and from democracy tend to occur globally and in waves, meaning that they have been clustered in both space and time rather than distributed randomly. The American political scientist Samuel Huntington identified three main waves of democratization.
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Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. As authoritarian regimes in Africa increasingly are being challenged across the continent, participants were hopeful that competitive multiparty systems might emerge in Africa. Nevertheless, they pointed out that emerging democratic governments would have to confront a legacy of poverty, illiteracy, militarization, and underdevelopment produced by incompetent or corrupt governments. Some wondered if the new demands being placed on African nations by international donor institutions as well as heightened individual expectations for better lives could be met by the nascent democracies. Participants indicated that, although contemporary authoritarian regimes in Africa have taken a number of forms, they fall within the general models of one-party systems, personal dictatorships, and military regimes.
Democracies used to be few in number, and most were located in the northwestern quarter of the world. Over the last two decades, however, many countries have rid themselves of authoritarian regimes. There are many variations among these countries.
Democratic consolidation is the process by which a new democracy matures, in a way that it becomes unlikely to revert to authoritarianism without an external shock, and is regarded as the only available system of government within a country. This is the case when: no significant political group seriously attempts to overthrow the democratic regime, the democratic system is regarded as the most appropriate way to govern by the vast majority of the public, and all political actors are accustomed to the fact that conflicts are resolved through established political and constitutional rules. Unconsolidated democracies often suffer from formalized but intermittent elections and clientelism.