Resilient Democracies

61 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2024

See all articles by Pablo Beramendi

Pablo Beramendi

Duke University - Department of Political Science

Carles Boix

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Daniel Stegmueller

Duke University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: April 16, 2024

Abstract

Despite prevalent concerns about elites’ attempts to capture democratic institutions potentially leading to their collapse, contemporary democracies seem highly resilient to breakdown. We study the conditions under which backsliding is likely to translate into democratic breakdowns. We focus on inequality and development as the key drivers of voters and elites’ incentives, both economic and political, to backslide. We agree with the literature that, on average, inequality fosters social and political strife. However, the incentives of elites to manipulate (and ultimately get rid of) democratic institutions are conditional on a country’s level of development. To test our argument, we examine the survival of democracies over the last 100 years using semiparametric survival models. In a novel extension, we also jointly model the co-evolution of backsliding and democratic survival and show that it, too, is conditioned by development.

Keywords: Inequality, Development, Democracy, Backsliding

Suggested Citation

Beramendi, Pablo and Boix, Carles and Stegmueller, Daniel, Resilient Democracies (April 16, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4795432 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4795432

Pablo Beramendi

Duke University - Department of Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Carles Boix

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Robertson Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-2139 (Phone)

Daniel Stegmueller (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.daniel-stegmueller.com

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