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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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The way in which to measure and define consolidation, therefore, is debated by scholars in conso,idation field. In condolidation long run, informal practices, such as clientelism, are indeed antithetical to democratic survival.

Some of the authors cited in this section view democratic consolidation as a gradual process of overcoming the problems left by the previous authoritarian regime. The authors outline an intentionally broad andrea 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 using 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 conzolidation comprehensible way. He proposes that scholars use the definition most appropriate to their starting point: He pushes this argument further by proposing that imperfect democracies that are not fully and formally institutionalized can also endure.

Paradoxically, however, long-lasting democracies do not seem to be immune from a degradation in the quality of their democracy. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions.

“What Is Democratic Consolidation?” by Andreas Schedler

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.

University of Oklahoma Press, Linz and Stepan offer an intuitive definition of consolidation—a democracy is consolidated when no political actors seek to overthrow it. The Sources of Democratic Consolidation. They point out that democracies may take many forms and will not necessarily be better at solving various socioeconomic problems.


Please subscribe or login. This article offers a systemic assessment existing data sets of democracy used in large- N analysis and evaluates three challenges that researchers face in their construction: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century.

Consolidation requires the existence of a functional state and presence of five reinforcing arenas: It varies according to the contexts and the goals we have in mind. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Although Diamond rejects theories that privilege preconditions the success of consolidation, he also andteas that consolidation may take many different paths.

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Project MUSE – What is Democratic Consolidation?

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 andras, 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.

Scuedler supports this conclusion with evidence of crisis management in Latin America. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. What is Democratic Consolidation? 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.

The meaning that we schedlsr 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. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. On one the hand, when democracy becomes routinized, institutionalized, and normalized, acting outside or in violation of democratic norms is both unappealing and disadvantageous for politicians and other political actors.


Cornell University Press, Meanwhile, the role of civil society is as ambiguous in consolidation as it is in democratization. Time is an especially important component of many empirical works that seek to explain regime endurance. Two other subtypes of democracy have gained wide recognition in the scholarly literature on new democracies. Book titles OR Journal titles. For example, although there is no consensus on whether economic growth and prospects for democratization are positively linked, scholars generally agree that economic growth contributes to democratic consolidation.

Sign in via your Institution. Related Articles about About Related Articles close popup. If consolidation is complete when andteas democracy is likely to endure, then observable measures of endurance are needed.

These imperfect democracies can endure despite the lack of a close fit between formal rules and political behavior. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Premised on the idea that beliefs about democrtic outcomes generated by a regime are important in determining whether democracy is consolidated, the author takes consolidatioon rational-choice approach to examine the strategy of elite actors on the right side of the political spectrum in five European states.

Johns Hopkins University Press, Schmitter and Karl echoes this view and further stresses that consolidated democracies will not be able, nor should be expected, to solve all sociopolitical problems. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is consolidationn trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

Viewpoints and Horizons

The most widely accepted criteria for identi-fying a country as democratic have been put forward by Robert Dahl—civil and political rights plus fair, competitive, and inclusive elections. In the immediate aftermath of all these democratic transitions, pressing concerns have quickly arisen about how to strengthen and stabilize these new regimes. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here. Jump to Other Articles: