APRIL 11, 2012:
How is it countries move from some authoritarian system to a more democratic system?
Revolutions- overthrowing the regime to end up with a democracy (ex. Tunisia’s
popular uprising). Generally, esp. with bloody, extended and violent revolutions,
they do not lead to democracy. The polarization, small arm proliferation, etc. create
a revolutionary authoritarianism. There could be a period of chaos, civil war, etc.
which increases the risk of having another revolution.
Military coups- rarely actually deliver democracy and usually lead to authoritarian
External intervention- it depends on what the population wants in the first place
Incrementalism/internal reform- as opposed to quick change
o Regime-led (they may miscalculate their power- ex. Pinochet’s constitution lost
at the ballot box). This happened inmost of Western Europe.
Internal fragmentations among authoritarian elites- authoritarian regimes that
transition to democracy have a conflict between hard-liners and soft-liners.
Without this fragmentation, it is much harder to get change.
Paradox of political mobilization- on one hand, mass public protests/strikes are
useful in pushing reform, but it overdone, it will push the regime into hardline mode
and force a crackdown.