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

73 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2020

See all articles by Matthew C. Wilson

Matthew C. Wilson

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute; University of South Carolina

Richard K. Morgan

Varieties of Democracy Institute

Juraj Medzihorsky

University of Gothenburg - School of Business, Economics and Law

Laura Maxwell

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Seraphine F. Maerz

University of Gothenburg

Anna Lührmann

University of Gothenburg - Department of Political Science

Patrik Lindenfors

Institute for Future Studies; Stockholm University

Amanda B. Edgell

University of Gothenburg

Vanessa Alexandra Boese

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Staffan I. Lindberg

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 12, 2020

Abstract

What explains successful democratization? This paper makes four contributions towards providing more sophisticated answers to this question. Building on the comparative case study and large-N literature, it first presents a new approach to conceptualizing the discrete beginning of a period of political liberalization, tracing its progression, and classifying episodes by successful vs. different types of failing outcomes, thus avoiding potentially fallacious assumptions of unit homogeneity. Second, it provides the first ever dataset (EPLIB) of the full universe of episodes from 1900 to 2018, and third, it demonstrates the value of this approach, showing that while several established covariates are useful for predicting outcomes, none of them seem to explain the onset of a period of liberalization. Fourth, it illustrates how the identification of episodes makes it possible to study processes quantitatively using sequencing methods to detail the importance of the order of change for liberalization outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Matthew C. and Morgan, Richard and Medzihorsky, Juraj and Maxwell, Laura and Maerz, Seraphine F. and Lührmann, Anna and Lindenfors, Patrik and Edgell, Amanda B. and Boese, Vanessa Alexandra and Lindberg, Staffan I., Successful and Failed Episodes of Democratization: Conceptualization, Identification, and Description (February 12, 2020). V-Dem Working Paper 2020:97, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3536827 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3536827

Matthew C. Wilson (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

United States

University of South Carolina ( email )

701 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

Richard Morgan

Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
C-building, level 3
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

Juraj Medzihorsky

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

Vasagatan 1
Goteborg, 40530
Sweden

Laura Maxwell

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

United States

Seraphine F. Maerz

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Anna Lührmann

University of Gothenburg - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

Patrik Lindenfors

Institute for Future Studies ( email )

Holländergatan 13
Stockholm, 11136
Sweden
0703418687 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lindenfors.se

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

Amanda B. Edgell

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Vanessa Alexandra Boese

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Sweden

Staffan I. Lindberg

University of Gothenburg - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

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

University of Gothenburg - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

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

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