Civil Society, Party Institutionalization, and Democratic Breakdown in the Interwar Period

83 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2016 Last revised: 24 May 2016

See all articles by Agnes Cornell

Agnes Cornell

Department of Political Science, Lund University

Jørgen Møller

Aarhus University

Svend-Erik Skaaning

Aarhus University

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute; Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: February 1, 2016

Abstract

The relationship between the strength of civil society and democratic survival in the interwar period has been much debated. Prominent studies have questioned the existence of a positive association, arguing that the relationship is conditioned by the level of party institutionalization. This revisionist perspective has been vindicated by case studies of important European cases, in particular Germany and Italy. But due to a lack of cross-national data, neither the direct effect of civil society nor the alternative perspective has so far been subjected to a comprehensive statistical analysis. In this paper we enlist novel data from the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project that enable us to carry out such an assessment of all democratic spells in the interwar years. Our survival analysis demonstrates that a vibrant civil society generally contributed to democratic survival in this period and that this effect was not moderated by the level of party institutionalization.

Suggested Citation

Cornell, Agnes and Møller, Jørgen and Skaaning, Svend-Erik and Lindberg, Staffan I., Civil Society, Party Institutionalization, and Democratic Breakdown in the Interwar Period (February 1, 2016). V-Dem Working Paper 2016:24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2727717 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2727717

Agnes Cornell (Contact Author)

Department of Political Science, Lund University ( email )

Box 52
Lund
Sweden

Jørgen Møller

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

Svend-Erik Skaaning

Aarhus University ( email )

Bartholins Allé 7
Aarhus, 8000
Denmark

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se/varianter-pa-demokrati--v-dem-/

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se

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