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- Democratic Transition and Consolidation
- Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe
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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.
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
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. Some of them have reverted to new brands of authoritarianism even if from time to time they hold elections , while others have clearly embraced democracy. Still others seem to inhabit a gray area; they bear a family resemblance to the old established democracies, but either lack or only precariously possess some of their key attributes. This poses two tasks. One is to establish a cutoff point that separates all democracies from all nondemocracies.
economic reforms and taking note of the marked disconnect between the two. Keywords democratic upsurge • electoral campaign • electoral democracy. • national.
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.
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Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe
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.
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. Time is an especially important component of many empirical works that seek to explain regime endurance. Paradoxically, however, long-lasting democracies do not seem to be immune from a degradation in the quality of their democracy. This article focuses on the institutional, economic, social, and international causes of democratic consolidation as distinct from democratization.
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Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation
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