Chains in Episodes of Democratization

31 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2023

See all articles by Kelly Morrison

Kelly Morrison

University of Gothenburg - Varieties of Democracy Institute

Martin Lundstedt

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Yuko Sato

V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg

Vanessa A. Boese

WZB Berlin Social Science Center; University of Gothenburg

Klas Markström

Umeå University

Staffan I. Lindberg

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

Date Written: June 28, 2023

Abstract

In what sequence do democratic institutions develop during episodes of liberalization in autocracies? Existing research has theorized about the processes and causes of institutional change that make up regime transitions. However, there has been limited research to evaluate the institutional sequence of democratization in a systematic, quantitative framework. In this paper, we introduce a novel methodology, Analysis of Chains (AOC), which is adapted from evolutionary biology and partial orders in mathematics. The article uses AOC to catalog chains of institutional change across 36 indicators of democracy in episodes of liberalization from 1900 to 2021. Our findings are the first to use a quantitative approach to systematically describe long sequences of democratization across many countries and over a long time series. This innovative analysis provides an important finding: we show that elections are the most common element of democracy to develop first during democratization. However, we find little correlation between the early development of elections and successful transition to democracy. These results make a pivotal contribution to ongoing debates about the process of regime transition as well as efforts to promote democracy around the world.

Suggested Citation

Morrison, Kelly and Lundstedt, Martin and Sato, Yuko and Boese, Vanessa A. and Markström, Klas and Lindberg, Staffan I., Chains in Episodes of Democratization (June 28, 2023). V-Dem Working Paper No. 2023:141, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4494230 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4494230

Kelly Morrison (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://kellyemorrison.com

Martin Lundstedt

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Yuko Sato

V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Vanessa A. Boese

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Klas Markström

Umeå University

Samhallsvetarhuset, Plan 2
Umea University
Umeå, SE 901 87
Sweden

Staffan I. Lindberg

University of Gothenburg - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://v-dem.net

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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