Democracy and Its Vulnerabilities: Dynamics of Democratic Backsliding

49 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2019 Last revised: 26 Nov 2019

See all articles by Zhaotian Luo

Zhaotian Luo

University of Chicago, Department of Political Science

Adam Przeworski

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Date Written: November 24, 2019

Abstract

The dream of all politicians is to remain for ever in office. Most governments attempt to advance this goal by building popular support within the established institutional framework. Some, however, seek to protect their tenure in office by undermining institutions and disabling all opposition. The striking lesson of the successful cases of backsliding is that governments need not take unconstitutional or undemocratic steps to secure domination and yet the cumulative effect is that unless citizens react early they may lose the ability to remove the incumbent government by democratic means. We investigate what makes democracy vulnerable to such steps, specifically, whether a government would take anti-democratic steps, whether it can be stopped short of realization of complete domination, and whether it is likely to be removed at any stage of the process.

Keywords: Democracy, Backsliding, Dynamic

Suggested Citation

Luo, Zhaotian and Przeworski, Adam, Democracy and Its Vulnerabilities: Dynamics of Democratic Backsliding (November 24, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3469373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3469373

Zhaotian Luo (Contact Author)

University of Chicago, Department of Political Science ( email )

5825 S University Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Adam Przeworski

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States
(212) 998-3707 (Phone)
(212) 995-4184 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/politics/faculty/przeworski/przeworski_home.html

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