The Long March: Contentious Mobilization and Deep Democracy

39 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2017  

Mohammad Ali Kadivar

Brown University

Adaner Usmani

Brown University

Benjamin H. Bradlow

Brown University - Department of Sociology, Students

Date Written: June 30, 2017

Abstract

Over the last several decades, dozens of authoritarian regimes have fallen and been replaced by formal democracies.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

Kadivar, Mohammad Ali and Usmani, Adaner and Bradlow, Benjamin H., The Long March: Contentious Mobilization and Deep Democracy (June 30, 2017). V-Dem Working Paper 2017:6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2995541

Mohammad Ali Kadivar (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

HOME PAGE: http://watson.brown.edu/people/postdocs/kadivar

Adaner Usmani

Brown University ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

Benjamin H. Bradlow

Brown University - Department of Sociology, Students

Providence, RI
United States

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