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Students of political democratization have employed the notion of “democratic consolidation” in unclear and inconsistent ways. The article reconstructs and. Much of the literature on ‘democratic consolidation’ has adopted a forward‐ looking, future‐oriented perspective. Rather than studying past regimes, it tries to . Andreas Schedler, who is currently attached to the Facultad Latinoamericana de possibly most, students of democratic consolidation are studying today’s.

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Please subscribe or login. At this point, with people using the concept any way they like, nobody can be sure what it means to others, but all maintain the illusion of speaking to one another in some comprehensible way. Publications Pages Publications Pages. It varies according to the contexts and the goals we have in mind. The most widely accepted criteria for identi-fying a country as democratic have been put forward by Robert Dahl—civil and political rights plus fair, competitive, and inclusive elections.

Export Citations Print Email Share. 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. The use of one and the same term for vastly different things only simulates a shared common language; in fact, the reigning conceptual disorder is acting as a powerful barrier to scholarly communication, theory building, and the accumulation of knowledge.

For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here. In the long run, informal practices, such as clientelism, are indeed antithetical to democratic survival.

They point out that democracies may take many forms consolidayion will not necessarily be better at solving various socioeconomic problems.


Project MUSE – What is Democratic Consolidation?

Schedler tackles the expanding field of definitions of democratic consolidation. 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.

Meanwhile, the role of civil society is as ambiguous in consolidation as it is in democratization. This website uses cookies democrati ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Sign in via your Institution. Introduction 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.

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. Linz and Stepan offer an intuitive definition of consolidation—a democracy is consolidated when no political actors seek to overthrow it.

Contact Contact Us Help. These imperfect democracies can endure despite the lack of a close fit between formal rules and political behavior. This article concludes with an overview of literature on deconsolidation, which challenges the notion that democratic consolidation is irreversible.

In the immediate aftermath of all these democratic transitions, pressing concerns have quickly arisen about how to strengthen and stabilize these new regimes.

Huntington argues that a reversal of transition is less likely and consolidation of democracy conso,idation more likely to take place in more economically developed states that transitioned peacefully and early in the wave, have previous experience with democracy, and have the support of international actors. He proposes that scholars use the definition most appropriate to their starting point: It has come to include such divergent items as popular legitimation, the diffusion of democratic values, the neutralization of antisystem actors, civilian supremacy over the military, the [End Page 91] elimination of authoritarian enclaves, party building, the organization of functional interests, the stabilization of electoral rules, the routinization of politics, the decentralization of state demicratic, the introduction of mechanisms of direct democracy, judicial reform, the alleviation of poverty, and economic stabilization.


Don’t have an account? The authors outline an intentionally broad understanding of what democracy is by focusing on its conceptual definition, procedures, and institutions, as well as its underlying principles not enshrined elsewhere, such as contingent consent and bounded uncertainty.

This article offers a systemic assessment existing data sets of democracy used in large- N analysis and evaluates three challenges that researchers face in their construction: Schedler and Munck and Verkuilen discuss issues related to the conceptualization of democracy and the measurement of consolidation.

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Viewpoints and Horizons

This article focuses on the institutional, economic, social, and international causes of democratic consolidation as distinct from democratization. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: 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.

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