Towards Consolidated Democracies
Linz and Stepan
* Three conditions before speaking about democratic consolidation * First…no state=no democracy
* Second….democracy cannot be thought of as consolidated until a democratic transition has been brought to completion * Necessary but by no means sufficient condition for the completion of a democratic transition is the holding of free and contested elections (on the basis of broadly inclusive voter eligibility) that meet the seven institutional requirements for elections in a polyarchy that Robert A. Dahl has set forth * Third….no regime should be called a democracy unless its rulers govern democratically * Cannot fail to rule within the bounds of a state of law, their regimes are not democracies. * Authors: What then are the characteristics of consolidated democracy? * by a "consolidated democracy" we mean a political regime in which democracy as a complex system of institutions, rules, and patterned incentives and disincentives has become, in a phrase, "the only game in town." * Working definition of consolidated democracy is then:
* Behaviorally- a democratic regime in a territory is consolidated when no significant national, social, economic, political, or institutional actors spend significant resources attempting to achieve their objectives by creating a nondemocratic regime or by seceding from the state * Attitudanly- a democratic regime is consolidated when a strong majority of public opinion, even in the midst of major economic problems and deep dissatisfaction with incumbents, holds the belief that democratic procedures and institutions are the most appropriate way to govern collective life, and when support for antisystem alternatives is quite small or more-or-less isolated from prodemocratic forces * Constitutionally- a democratic regime is consolidated when governmental and nongovernmental forces alike become subject to, and...
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