Successful and Failed Episodes of Democratization: Conceptualization, Identification, and Description

51 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Staffan I. Lindberg

Staffan I. Lindberg

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

Patrik Lindenfors

Stockholm University

Anna Lührmann

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Laura Maxwell

Göteborg University - V-Dem Institute

Juraj Medzihorsky

Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law

Richard Morgan

Emory University

Matthew Charles Wilson

West Virginia University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

What explains successful democratization? Answering this requires that researchers identify not only countries that successfully transitioned to democracy, but also those that began to liberalize—that initiated institutional reforms that move it towards democracy—but failed to transition. In this paper, we propose a solution that allows researchers more fully to capture the liberalization period and then classify these episodic events according to their outcome: successful, failed, or censored episodes of democratization. We identify the appropriate procedures and data necessary for operationalization of such episodes and present the first ever dataset of the full universe of democratization episodes 1900-2017, compare them to existing measures and assess construct validity. We also demonstrate the value of this approach showing how we can substantially improve upon what we know about democratization, including their relationship to development, state capacity, underlying temporal features, and the relationship between patterns of liberalization and whether a country successfully transitions to democracy.

Suggested Citation

Lindberg, Staffan I. and Lindenfors, Patrik and Lührmann, Anna and Maxwell, Laura and Medzihorsky, Juraj and Morgan, Richard and Wilson, Matthew Charles, Successful and Failed Episodes of Democratization: Conceptualization, Identification, and Description (October 2018). V-Dem Working Paper 2018:79. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3274599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3274599

Staffan I. Lindberg (Contact Author)

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

Patrik Lindenfors

Stockholm University ( email )

Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution
Stockholm, S-106 91
Sweden
+46703418687 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.su.se/profiles/patrikj-1.183878

Anna Lührmann

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

Laura Maxwell

Göteborg University - V-Dem Institute ( email )

United States

Juraj Medzihorsky

Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law ( email )

Vasagatan 1
Goteborg, 40530
Sweden

Richard Morgan

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Matthew Charles Wilson

West Virginia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

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