Book consolidating democracy democracy journal third wave

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This article concludes with an overview of literature on deconsolidation, which challenges the notion that democratic consolidation is irreversible.

This article focuses on the institutional, economic, social, and international causes of democratic consolidation as distinct from democratization.

Although some authors are comfortable identifying a single endpoint of consolidation, others urge scholars and students to be wary of claims about what consolidation must include to be considered “complete.” In their important work, Linz and Stepan 1996 popularize the phrase “the only game in town” to describe democratic consolidation and outline how the history of a specific forms of authoritarianism might pose unique problems for consolidation.

Linz and Stepan provide a good introduction to the different components of consolidation, which they refer to as the five reinforcing “arenas” of consolidation: political institutions, the economy, rule of law, a usable bureaucracy and civil society.

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.

Others argue that consolidation is the result of deliberate choices made by political actors.

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