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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General Overviews Just as many different types of authoritarian regimes and paths of transition exist, so do many roads to consolidation. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’.

Export Citations Print Email Share. It varies according to the contexts and the goals we have in mind.

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Don’t have an account? Johns Hopkins University Press, Cornell University Press, Premised on the idea that beliefs about political outcomes generated by a regime are important in determining whether democracy is consolidated, the author takes a rational-choice approach to examine the strategy of elite actors on the right side of the political spectrum in five European states.

What is Democratic Consolidation? The Sources of Democratic Consolidation.

“What Is Democratic Consolidation?” by Andreas Schedler

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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: 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.


Although Diamond rejects theories that privilege preconditions the success of consolidation, he also suggests that consolidation may take many different paths. 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. Linz and Stepan offer an intuitive definition of consolidation—a democracy is consolidated when no political actors seek to overthrow it. Sign in via your Institution. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here. Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions.

How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For example, although there is no consensus on whether economic growth and prospects for democratization are positively linked, scholars generally agree that economic growth contributes to democratic consolidation.

Consolidation of new democracies requires strong political institutions, horizontal as well as vertical accountability, the rule of law, a vibrant civil society, and improved economic performance, which all generate legitimacy for the regime. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Some of the authors cited in this section view democratic consolidation as a gradual process of overcoming the problems left by the previous authoritarian regime. 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 power, the introduction of mechanisms of direct democracy, judicial reform, the alleviation of poverty, and economic stabilization.


In the long run, informal practices, such as clientelism, are indeed antithetical to democratic survival.

Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Moving away from arguments about preconditions, Alexander presents a theory of consolidation based on the strategic choices of political elites. If consolidation is complete when a democracy is likely to endure, then observable measures of endurance are needed. Huntington argues that a reversal of transition is less likely and consolidation of democracy is 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.

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Project MUSE – What is Democratic Consolidation?

Just as many different types of authoritarian regimes and paths of transition exist, schedlre do many roads to 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 dchedler.

Sign in with your library card. Schedler tackles the expanding field of definitions of democratic 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.

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