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Political Science
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

APRIL 11, 2012: Transitions: Routes: 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 regimes.  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. o Opposition-led o Mixed  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.  Political p
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