39 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2017
Date Written: June 30, 2017
Over the last several decades, dozens of authoritarian regimes have fallen and been replaced by formal democracies. These new democracies are not all of identical quality -- some have made substantially greater progress than others towards deepening democratic institutions. We make use of a new dataset which identifies five distinct dimensions of democratization in order to study this variation. We argue that prolonged unarmed contentious mobilization prior to transition drives democratic progress in each of these five dimensions. Mobilization matters because it generates a new, democratically-oriented political elite and because it furnishes non-elites with the capacity for autonomous collective action. In panel regressions spanning the 1950 to 2010 period and using original data, we show that the duration of antecedent anti-authoritarian mobilization is a significant and consistent predictor of subsequent democratic deepening. To illustrate the mechanisms, we present a historical analysis of democratic transition in Brazil. This case study shows how both formal political actors and non-elite collective actors, emboldened by prolonged mobilization, drove deepening of democracy post-transition.
Keywords: Democratization, Democratic Deepening, Contention, Mobilization, Social Movements
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Kadivar, Mohammad Ali and Usmani, Adaner and Bradlow, Benjamin H., The Long March: Contentious Mobilization and Deep Democracy (June 30, 2017). Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs Research Paper No. 2017-38; V-Dem User's Working Paper 2017:6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2995541