Democratization

Democratization

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Democratization is the transition to a more democratic political regime. It may be the transition from an authoritarian
Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

 regime to a full democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, a transition from an authoritarian political system to a semi-democracy or transition from a semi-authoritarian
Semi-authoritarian
The term semi-authoritarian is used to refer to a state or regime that shares both democratic and authoritarian features. According to Marina Ottaway, such states are "ambiguous systems that combine rhetorical acceptance of liberal democracy, the existence of some formal democratic institutions,...

 political system to a democratic political system. The outcome may be consolidated
Democratic consolidation
Democratic consolidation is the process by which a new democracy matures, in a way that means it is unlikely to revert to authoritarianism without an external shock...

 (as it was for example in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

) or democratization may face frequent reversals (as it has faced for example in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

). Different patterns of democratization are often used to explain other political phenomena, such as whether a country goes to a war or whether its economy grows. Democratization itself is influenced by various factors, including economic development, history, and civil society.

Causes of democratization




There is considerable debate about the factors which affect or ultimately limit democratization. A great many things, including economics, culture, and history, have been cited as impacting on the process. Some of the more frequently mentioned factors are:
  • Wealth. A higher GDP/capita correlates with democracy and while some claim the wealthiest democracies have never been observed to fall into authoritarianism, Hitler would be an obvious counter-example that would render the claim a truism. There is also the general observation that democracy was very rare before the industrial revolution. Empirical research thus lead many to believe that economic development either increases chances for a transition to democracy (modernization theory
    Modernization theory
    Modernization theory is a theory used to explain the process of modernization within societies. The theory looks at the internal factors of a country while assuming that, with assistance, "traditional" countries can be brought to development in the same manner more developed countries have...

    ), or helps newly established democracies consolidate. Some campaigners for democracy even believe that as economic development progresses, democratization will become inevitable. However, the debate about whether democracy is a consequence of wealth, a cause of it, or both processes are unrelated, is far from conclusion.
  • Education. Wealth also correlates with education, though their effects on democratic consolidation seem to be independent. Better educated people tend to share more liberal and pro-democratic values. On the other hand, a poorly educated and illiterate population may elect populist
    Populism
    Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

     politicians who soon abandon democracy and become dictators even if there have been free elections.
  • The resource curse
    Resource curse
    The resource curse refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources...

     theory
    suggests that countries with abundant natural resources, such as oil
    Oil
    An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

    , often fail to democratize because the elite can live off the natural resources rather than depend on popular support for tax revenues. On the other hand, elites who invested in the physical capital rather than in land or oil, fear that their investment can be easily damaged in case of a revolution. Consequently, they would rather make concessions and democratize than risk a violent clash with the opposition.
  • Capitalism. Some claim that democracy and capitalism are intrinsically linked. This belief generally centers on the idea that democracy and capitalism are simply two different aspects of freedom. A widespread capitalist market culture may encourage norms such as individualism, negotiations, compromise, respect for the law, and equality before the law. These are seen as supportive for democratization.
  • Social equality. Acemoglu and Robinson argued that the relationship between social equality and democratic transition is complicated: People have less incentive to revolt in an egalitarian society (for example, Singapore
    Singapore
    Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

    ), so the likelihood of democratization is lower. In a highly unequal society (for example, South Africa
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

     under Apartheid), the redistribution of wealth and power in a democracy would be so harmful to elites that these would do everything to prevent democratization. Democratization is more likely to emerge somewhere in the middle, in the countries, whose elites offer concessions because (1) they consider the threat of a revolution credible and (2) the cost of the concessions is not too high. This expectation is in line with the empirical research showing that democracy is more stable in egalitarian societies.
  • Middle class. According to some models, the existence of a substantial body of citizens who are of intermediate wealth can exert a stabilizing influence, allowing democracy to flourish. This is usually explained by saying that while the upper classes may want political power to preserve their position, and the lower classes may want it to lift themselves up, the middle class balances these extreme positions.
  • Civil society. A healthy civil society
    Civil society
    Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

     (NGOs, unions
    Trade union
    A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

    , academia
    Academia
    Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

    , human rights
    Human rights
    Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

     organizations) are considered by some theorists to be important for democratization, as they give people a unity and a common purpose, and a social network
    Social network
    A social network is a social structure made up of individuals called "nodes", which are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.Social...

     through which to organize and challenge the power of the state
    Sovereign state
    A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

     hierarchy
    Hierarchy
    A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

    . Involvement in civic associations also prepares citizens for their future political participation in a democratic regime. Finally, horizontally organized social networks build trust among people and trust is essential for functioning of democratic institutions.
  • Civic culture. In The Civic Culture
    The Civic Culture
    The Civic Culture or The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations is an influential work in political science by Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba....

    and The Civic Culture Revisited, Gabriel A. Almond and Sidney Verba
    Sidney Verba
    Sidney Verba is an American political scientist, librarian and library administrator. His academic interests are mainly American and comparative politics. He was the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University. He also served Harvard as the director of the Harvard University...

     (editors) conducted a comprehensive study of civic cultures. The main findings is that a certain civic culture is necessary for the survival of democracy. This study truly challenged the common thought that cultures can preserve their uniqueness and practices and still remain democratic.
  • Culture. It is claimed by some that certain cultures are simply more conductive to democratic values than others. This view is likely to be ethnocentric
    Ethnocentrism
    Ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one's own. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with...

    . Typically, it is Western culture
    Western culture
    Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

     which is cited as "best suited" to democracy, with other cultures portrayed as containing values which make democracy difficult or undesirable. This argument is sometimes used by undemocratic regimes to justify their failure to implement democratic reforms. Today, however, there are many non-Western democracies. Examples include India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    , Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    , Indonesia
    Indonesia
    Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

    , Namibia
    Namibia
    Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

    , Botswana
    Botswana
    Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

    , Taiwan
    Taiwan
    Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

    , and South Korea
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

    .
  • Human Empowerment and Emancipative Values. In Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy, Ronald Inlgehart and Christian Welzel explain democratization as the result of a broader process of human development, which empowers ordinary people in a three-step sequence. First, modernization gives more resources into the hands of people, which empowers capability-wise, enabling people to practice freedom. This tends to give rise to emancipative values that emphasize freedom of expression and equality of opportunities. These values empower people motivation-wise in making them willing to practice freedom. Democratization occurs as the third stage of empowerment: it empowers people legally in entitling them to practice freedom. In this context, the rise of emancipative values has been shown to be the strongest factor of all in both giving rise to new democracies and sustaining old democracies. Specifically, it has been shown that the effects of modernization and other structural factors on democratization are mediated by these factors tendencies to promote or hinder the rise of emancipative values. Further evidence suggests that emancipative values motivate people to engage in elite-challenging collective actions that aim at democratic achievements, either to sustain and improve democracy when it is granted or to establish it when it is denied.
  • Homogeneous population. Some believe that a country which is deeply divided, whether by ethnic group, religion, or language, have difficulty establishing a working democracy. The basis of this theory is that the different components of the country will be more interested in advancing their own position than in sharing power with each other. India is one prominent example of a nation being democratic despite its great heterogeneity.
  • Previous experience with democracy. According to some theorists, the presence or absence of democracy in a country's past can have a significant effect on its later dealings with democracy. Some argue, for example, that it is very difficult (or even impossible) for democracy to be implemented immediately in a country that has no prior experience with it. Instead, they say, democracy must evolve gradually. Others, however, say that past experiences with democracy can actually be bad for democratization — a country, such as Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    , in which democracy has previously failed may be less willing or able to go down the same path again.
  • Foreign intervention. Democracies have often been imposed by military intervention, for example in Japan and Germany after WWII. In other cases, decolonization
    Decolonization
    Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the unequal relation of polities whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent Territory over another...

     sometimes facilitated the establishment of democracies that were soon replaced by authoritarian regimes. For example, in the United States South after the Civil War
    Civil war
    A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

    , former slaves were disenfranchised by Jim Crow laws during the Reconstruction Era of the United States; after many decades, U.S. democracy was re-established by civic associations (the African American civil rights movement) and an outside military (the U.S. military).
  • Age distribution. Countries which have a higher degree of elderly people seems to be able to maintain democracy, when it has evolved once, according to a thesis brought forward by Richard P. Concotta in this article in Foreign Policy. When the young population (defined as people aged 29 and under) is less than 40%, a democracy is more safe, according to this research.

Historical cases


Democracy development has often been slow, violent, and marked by frequent reversals.
In Great Britain, the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 (1642-1651) was fought between the King and an oligarchic but elected Parliament. The Protectorate
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...

 and the English Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 restored more autocratic rule. The Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 (1688) established a strong Parliament. Only with the Representation of the People Act 1884
Representation of the People Act 1884
In the United Kingdom, the Representation of the People Act 1884 and the Redistribution Act of the following year were laws which further extended the suffrage in Britain after the Disraeli Government's Reform Act 1867...

 did a majority of the males get the vote.

The American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 (1775–1783) created the United States. In many fields, it was a success ideologically in the sense that a relatively true republic was established that never had a single dictator, but slavery was only abolished with the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 (1861-1865), and Civil Rights
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

 given to African-Americans became achieved in the 1960s.

The French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 (1789) briefly allowed a wide franchise. The French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...

 and the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 lasted for more than twenty years. The French Directory
French Directory
The Directory was a body of five Directors that held executive power in France following the Convention and preceding the Consulate...

 was more oligarchic. The First French Empire
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 and the Bourbon Restoration
Bourbon Restoration
The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

 restored more autocratic rule. The Second French Republic had universal male suffrage but was followed by the Second French Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

. The Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 (1870-71) resulted in the French Third Republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

.

The German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 was created in 1871. It was followed by the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 restored autocratic rule before the defeat in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 .

The Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

, after the unification of Italy in 1861, was a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 with the King having considerable powers. Italian fascism
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 created a dictatorship after the World War I. World War II resulted in the Italian Republic.

The Meiji period
Meiji period
The , also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from September 1868 through July 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan.- Meiji Restoration and the emperor :...

, after 1868, started the modernization of Japan. Limited democratic reforms were introduced. The Taishō period
Taisho period
The , or Taishō era, is a period in the history of Japan dating from July 30, 1912 to December 25, 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Taishō Emperor. The health of the new emperor was weak, which prompted the shift in political power from the old oligarchic group of elder statesmen to the Diet...

 (1912-1926) saw more reforms. The beginning of the Shōwa period
Showa period
The , or Shōwa era, is the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito, from December 25, 1926 through January 7, 1989.The Shōwa period was longer than the reign of any previous Japanese emperor...

 reversed this until the end of the World War II.

Since 1972


According to a study by Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

, in 67 countries where dictatorships have fallen since 1972, nonviolent civic resistance was a strong influence over 70 percent of the time. In these transitions,
"changes were catalyzed not through foreign invasion, and only rarely through armed revolt or voluntary elite-driven reforms, but overwhelmingly by democratic civil society organizations utilizing nonviolent action and other forms of civil resistance, such as strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience, and mass protests."

Indicators of democratization


One influential survey in democratization is that of Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

, which arose during the Cold War. The Freedom House, today an institution and a think tank, stands as one of the most comprehensive "freedom measures" nationally and internationally and by extension a measure of democratization. Freedom House categorizes all countries of the world according to a seven point value system with over 200 questions on the survey and multiple survey representatives in various parts of every nation. The total raw points of every country places the country in one of three categories: Free, Partly Free, or not Free.

One study simultaneously examining the relationship between capitalism (measured with one Index of Economic Freedom
Index of Economic Freedom
The Index of Economic Freedom is a series of 10 economic measurements created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Its stated objective is to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations....

), economic development (measured with GDP/capita), and political freedom (measured with the Freedom House index) found that high economic freedom
Economic freedom
Economic freedom is a term used in economic and policy debates. As with freedom generally, there are various definitions, but no universally accepted concept of economic freedom...

 increases GDP/capita and a high GDP/capita increases economic freedom. A high GDP/capita also increases political freedom but political freedom did not increase GDP/capita. There was no direct relationship either way between economic freedom and political freedom if keeping GDP/capita constant.

Views on democratization


Francis Fukuyama
Francis Fukuyama
Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama is an American political scientist, political economist, and author. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford. Before that he served as a professor and director of the International Development program at the School of...

 wrote another classic in democratization studies entitled The End of History and the Last Man
The End of History and the Last Man
The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay "The End of History?", published in the international affairs journal The National Interest...

which spoke of the rise of liberal democracy
Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

 as the final form of human government. However it has been argued that the expansion of liberal economic reforms has had mixed effects on democratization. In many ways, it is argued, democratic institutions have been constrained or "disciplined" in order to satisfy international capital markets or to facilitate the global flow of trade.

Samuel P. Huntington
Samuel P. Huntington
Samuel Phillips Huntington was an influential American political scientist who wrote highly-regarded books in a half-dozen sub-fields of political science, starting in 1957...

 wrote The Third Wave, partly as response to Fukuyama, defining a global democratization trend in the world post WWII. Huntington defined three waves of democratization that have taken place in history. The first one brought democracy to Western Europe and Northern America in the 19th century. It was followed by a rise of dictatorships during the Interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

. The second wave began after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, but lost steam between 1962 and the mid-1970s. The latest wave began in 1974 and is still ongoing. Democratization of Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 and post-Communist countries of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 is part of this third wave
Third Wave Democracy
In political science, Third Wave Democracy, also known as Democracy's Third Wave, refers to the third major surge of democracy in history. The term was coined by Samuel P...

.

A very good example of a region which passed through all the three waves of democratization is the Middle East. During the 15th century it was a part of the Ottoman empire. In the 19th century, "when the empire finally collapsed [...] towards the end of the First World War, the Western armies finally moved in and occupied the region". This was an act of both European expansion and state-building in order to democratize the region. However, what Posusney and Angrist argue is that, "the ethnic divisions [...] are [those that are] complicating the U.S. effort to democratize Iraq". This raises interesting questions about the role of combined foreign and domestic factors in the process of democratization. In addition, Edward Said labels as 'orientalist' the predominantly Western perception of "intrinsic incompatibility between democratic values and Islam". Moreover, he states that "the Middle East and North Africa lack the prerequisites of democratization".

Democratization in other contexts


Although democratization is most often thought of in the context of national or regional politics, the term can also be applied to:

International bodies

  • International bodies (e.g. the United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

    ) where there is an ongoing call for reform and altered voting structures and voting system
    Voting system
    A voting system or electoral system is a method by which voters make a choice between options, often in an election or on a policy referendum....

    s.

Corporations


It can also be applied in corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s where the traditional power structure was top-down direction and the boss-knows-best (even a "Pointy-Haired Boss
Pointy-Haired Boss
The pointy-haired boss is Dilbert's boss in the Dilbert comic strip. He is notable for his micromanagement, gross incompetence and unawareness of his surroundings, yet somehow retains power in the workplace...

"); This is quite different from consultation, empowerment
Empowerment
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, racial, educational, gender or economic strength of individuals and communities...

 (of lower levels) and a diffusion of decision making
Decision making
Decision making can be regarded as the mental processes resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice.- Overview :Human performance in decision terms...

 (power) throughout the firm, as advocated by workplace democracy
Workplace democracy
Workplace democracy is the application of democracy in all its forms to the workplace....

 movements.

The Internet


The loose anarchistic structure of the Internet Engineering Task Force
Internet Engineering Task Force
The Internet Engineering Task Force develops and promotes Internet standards, cooperating closely with the W3C and ISO/IEC standards bodies and dealing in particular with standards of the TCP/IP and Internet protocol suite...

 and the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 itself have inspired some groups to call for more democratization of how domain name
Domain name
A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System ....

s are held, upheld, and lost. They note that the Domain Name System
Domain name system
The Domain Name System is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities...

 under ICANN
ICANN
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a non-profit corporation headquartered in Marina del Rey, California, United States, that was created on September 18, 1998, and incorporated on September 30, 1998 to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed directly...

 is the least democratic and most centralized part of the Internet, using a simple model of first-come-first-served to the names of things. Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

 called this "corporatization of the dictionary."

Knowledge


The democratization of knowledge
Democratization of knowledge
The democratization of knowledge is the acquisition and spread of knowledge amongst the common people, not just privileged elites such as priests and academics.-History:The printing press was one of the early steps towards the democratization of knowledge....

 is a concept that describes the spread of knowledge among common people, in contrast to knowledge being controlled by elite groups.

Design


The trend that products from well-known designers are becoming cheaper and more available to masses of consumers. Also, the trend of companies sourcing design decisions from end users.

See also

  • Chilean transition to democracy
    Chilean transition to democracy
    The Chilean transition to democracy began when a Constitution establishing a transition itinerary was approved in a plebiscite. From March 11, 1981 to March 11, 1990, several organic constitutional laws were approved leading to the final restoration of democracy...

  • Democratisation in Hong Kong
  • Democratisation in the Soviet Union
  • Color revolution
  • Democracy activists
  • Democracy in the Middle East
    Democracy in the Middle East
    According to the "Democracy Index" , the country in the Middle East with the highest Democracy Index score is Israel, with a score of 7.48, corresponding to the status of "flawed democracy"; the only one in the region.The next highest scores of countries of in the region are held by Lebanon and...

  • Democratic peace theory
    Democratic peace theory
    Democratic peace theory is the theory that democracies don't go to war with each other. How well the theory matches reality depends a great deal on one's definition of "democracy" and "war"...

  • Democracy promotion
    Democracy promotion
    Democracy promotion, which can also be referred to as democracy assistance, or democracy building, is a strand of foreign policy adopted by governments and international organizations that seek to support the spread of democracy as a political system around the world.-Introduction:The precise...

  • Metapolitefsi
    Metapolitefsi
    The Metapolitefsi was a period in Greek history after the fall of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 that includes the transitional period from the fall of the dictatorship to the Greek legislative elections of 1974 and the democratic period immediately after these elections.The long...

  • Nation-building
    Nation-building
    For nation-building in the sense of enhancing the capacity of state institutions, building state-society relations, and also external interventions see State-building....

  • Nonviolent revolution
    Nonviolent revolution
    A nonviolent revolution is a revolution using mostly campaigns of civil resistance, including various forms of nonviolent protest, to bring about the departure of governments seen as entrenched and authoritarian...

  • Portuguese transition to democracy
    Portuguese transition to democracy
    Portugal's experience with democracy before the Carnation Revolution of 1974 had not been particularly successful. Its First Republic lasted only sixteen years, from 1910 to 1926. Under the republic, parliamentary institutions worked poorly and were soon discredited. Political corruption and...

  • Spanish transition to democracy
    Spanish transition to democracy
    The Spanish transition to democracy was the era when Spain moved from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state. The transition is usually said to have begun with Franco’s death on 20 November 1975, while its completion has been variously said to be marked by the Spanish...

  • Transitional justice
    Transitional justice
    Transitional justice generally refers to a range of approaches that states may use to address past human rights violations and includes both judicial and non-judicial approaches. They include series of actions or policies and their resulting institutions, which may be enacted at a point of...

  • Transitology
    Transitology
    In political science, international and comparative law and economics, transitology is the name for the study of the process of change from one political regime to another, mainly from authoritarian regimes to democratic ones....


Further reading

  • Thomas Carothers. Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve. 1999. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  • Josep M. Colomer. Strategic Transitions. 2000. Baltimore, Md: The Johns Hopkins University Press
    Johns Hopkins University Press
    The Johns Hopkins University Press is the publishing division of the Johns Hopkins University. It was founded in 1878 and holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously running university press in the United States. The Press publishes books, journals, and electronic databases...

    .
  • Daniele Conversi. ‘Demo-skepticism and genocide’, Political Science Review, September 2006, Vol 4, issue 3, pp. 247-262
  • Christian Haerpfer, Ronald Inglehart, Patrick Bernhagen & Christian Welzel (eds.). Democratization. Oxford: Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    .
  • Ronald Inglehart & Christian Welzel. Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy: The Human Development Sequence. 2005. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Frederic C. Schaffer. Democracy in Translation: Understanding Politics in an Unfamiliar Culture. 1998. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press
    Cornell University Press
    The Cornell University Press, established in 1869 but inactive from 1884 to 1930, was the first university publishing enterprise in the United States.A division of Cornell University, it is housed in Sage House, the former residence of Henry William Sage....

    .
  • Fareed Zakaria
    Fareed Zakaria
    Fareed Rafiq Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist and author. From 2000 to 2010, he was a columnist for Newsweek and editor of Newsweek International. In 2010 he became Editor-At-Large of Time magazine...

    . The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad. 2003. New York: W.W. Norton.

External links