Democratic Theory after Transitions from Authoritarian Rule

26 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 18 Aug 2011

See all articles by Gerardo L. Munck

Gerardo L. Munck

University of Southern California

Date Written: 2011


This paper focuses on the most recent phase in research on democracy, inaugurated by the Woodrow Wilson Center project on “Transitions from Authoritarian Rule,” placing it against the backdrop offered by earlier research and highlighting the work of a select group of scholars. The paper addresses central issues in democratic theory, including empirical and prescriptive questions (What explains the origins and durability of democracy? What should be done to promote democracy?), as well as conceptual and normative questions (What is democracy? Why should democracy be valued?). And it shows that, through their thorough reconsideration of the central issues in democratic theory, on the one hand, by establishing a new baseline for research on democracy and, on the other hand, by opening new research frontiers in the study of democracy.

Keywords: democratic theory, democracy studies, the value of democracy, democracy promotion

Suggested Citation

Munck, Gerardo L., Democratic Theory after Transitions from Authoritarian Rule (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Gerardo L. Munck (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

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