Students of political democratization have employed the notion of “democratic consolidation” in unclear and inconsistent ways. The article reconstructs and. Much of the literature on ‘democratic consolidation’ has adopted a forward‐ looking, future‐oriented perspective. Rather than studying past regimes, it tries to . Andreas Schedler, who is currently attached to the Facultad Latinoamericana de possibly most, students of democratic consolidation are studying today’s.

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General Overviews Just as many different types of authoritarian regimes and paths achedler transition exist, so do many roads to consolidation. In the long run, informal anfreas, such as clientelism, are indeed antithetical to democratic survival. Related Articles about About Related Articles close popup. Ithaca, NY, and London: Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Although he acknowledges that consolidatkon choices are conditioned by context-specific issues, Alexander makes the argument that elites must choose democracy and often do so for self-interested reasons. Export Citations Print Email Share. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.

University of Oklahoma Press, democrstic The authors outline an intentionally broad understanding of what democracy is by focusing on its conceptual definition, procedures, and institutions, as well as its underlying principles not enshrined elsewhere, such as contingent consent and bounded uncertainty.

At this point, with people demoxratic the concept any way they like, nobody can be sure what it means to others, but all maintain the illusion of speaking to one another in some comprehensible way. The meaning that we ascribe to the notion of democratic consolidation depends on where we stand our empirical viewpoints and where we aim to reach our normative horizons. This leads the author to a somewhat self-evident conclusion that democracies endure when political actors behave democratically.


Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic cobsolidation scholarly community it serves. Two other subtypes of democracy have gained wide recognition in the scholarly literature on new democracies.

It varies according to the contexts and the goals we have in mind. Johns Hopkins University Press, View freely available titles: It has come to include such divergent items as popular legitimation, the diffusion of democratic values, the neutralization of antisystem actors, civilian supremacy over the military, the [End Page 91] elimination of authoritarian enclaves, party building, the organization of functional interests, the stabilization of electoral rules, the routinization of politics, the decentralization of state power, the introduction of mechanisms of direct democracy, judicial reform, the alleviation of poverty, and economic stabilization.

Schmitter and Karl echoes this view and further stresses that consolidated democracies will not be able, nor should be expected, to solve all sociopolitical scheder. He pushes this argument further by proposing that imperfect democracies that are not fully and formally institutionalized can also endure. Linz and Stepan offer an intuitive definition of consolidation—a democracy is consolidated when no political actors seek to overthrow it. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.

The Sources of Democratic Schefler. Please subscribe or login. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.

Democratic Consolidation – Political Science – Oxford Bibliographies

Schedler and Munck and Verkuilen discuss issues related to the conceptualization of democracy and the measurement of consolidation. Some of the authors cited in this section view democratic consolidation as a gradual process of overcoming anereas problems left by the previous authoritarian regime.

He proposes that scholars use the definition most appropriate to their starting point: They point out that democracies may democratjc many forms and will not necessarily be better at solving various socioeconomic problems. Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Schedler tackles the expanding field of definitions of democratic consolidation. Although Diamond rejects theories that privilege preconditions the success of consolidation, he also suggests that consolidation may take many different paths.


These imperfect democracies can endure despite the lack of a close fit between formal rules and political behavior. Don’t have an account?

This article concludes with an overview of literature on deconsolidation, which challenges the notion that democratic consolidation is irreversible. Consolidation of new democracies requires strong political institutions, horizontal as well as vertical accountability, the rule of law, a vibrant civil society, and conssolidation economic performance, which all generate legitimacy for the regime.

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This article focuses on the institutional, economic, social, and international causes of democratic consolidation as distinct from democratization. Meanwhile, the role of civil society anrdeas as ambiguous in consolidation as it is in democratization.

If consolidation is complete when a democracy is likely to endure, then observable measures of endurance are needed.

The use of one and the same term for vastly different things only simulates a shared common language; in fact, the reigning conceptual disorder is acting as a powerful barrier to scholarly communication, theory building, and the accumulation of knowledge.

Moving away from arguments about preconditions, Alexander presents a theory of consolidation based on the strategic choices of political elites. Andrwas University Press, In the immediate aftermath of all these democratic transitions, pressing concerns have quickly arisen about how to strengthen and stabilize these new regimes.

A democracy becomes consolidated—that is, it is expected to endure—when political actors accept the legitimacy of democracy and no actor seeks to act outside democratic institutions for both normative and self-interested reasons.