Students of political democratization have employed the notion of “democratic consolidation” in unclear and inconsistent ways. The article reconstructs and. Much of the literature on ‘democratic consolidation’ has adopted a forward‐ looking, future‐oriented perspective. Rather than studying past regimes, it tries to . Andreas Schedler, who is currently attached to the Facultad Latinoamericana de possibly most, students of democratic consolidation are studying today’s.

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Introduction A democracy becomes consolidated—that is, it is expected to endure—when political actors accept the legitimacy of democracy and no actor seeks to act outside democratic institutions for both normative and self-interested reasons.

The authors outline an intentionally broad understanding of what democracy is by focusing on its conceptual definition, procedures, and institutions, as well as its underlying principles not enshrined elsewhere, such as contingent demkcratic and bounded consolidatjon. University of Oklahoma Press, Book titles OR Journal titles. It has come to include such divergent items as popular legitimation, the diffusion of democratic values, the neutralization of antisystem actors, civilian supremacy over the military, the [End Page 91] elimination of authoritarian enclaves, party building, the organization of functional interests, the stabilization of electoral rules, the routinization of politics, the decentralization of state power, the introduction of mechanisms of direct democracy, judicial reform, the alleviation of poverty, and economic stabilization.

“What Is Democratic Consolidation?” by Andreas Schedler

The Sources of Democratic Consolidation. Two other subtypes of democracy have gained wide recognition in the scholarly demicratic on new democracies.


Just as many different types of authoritarian regimes and paths of transition exist, so do many roads to consolidation. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here. Don’t have an account?

Project MUSE – What is Democratic Consolidation?

He supports this conclusion with evidence of crisis management in Latin America. These imperfect democracies can endure despite the lack of a close fit between formal rules and political behavior.

Although he acknowledges that individual choices are conditioned by context-specific issues, Alexander makes the argument that elites must choose democracy and often do so for self-interested reasons. On one the hand, when democracy becomes routinized, institutionalized, and normalized, acting outside or in violation of democratic norms is both unappealing and disadvantageous for politicians and other political actors. Related Articles about About Related Articles close popup.

Cornell University Press, Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

Although Diamond rejects theories that privilege preconditions the success of consolidation, he also suggests that consolidation may take many different paths.

Viewpoints and Horizons

In the long run, informal practices, such as clientelism, are indeed antithetical to democratic survival. View freely available titles: Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Paradoxically, however, long-lasting democracies do not seem to be immune from a degradation in the quality of their democracy.

Contact Contact Us Help. Jump to Other Articles: Premised on the idea that beliefs about political outcomes generated by a regime are important in determining whether democracy is consolidated, the author takes a rational-choice approach to examine the strategy of elite actors on the right side of the political spectrum in five Condolidation states.


Linz and Stepan offer an intuitive definition of consolidation—a democracy is consolidated when no political actors seek to overthrow it. Schedler suggests that behavioral evidence is superior to attitudinal and economic evidence because it is more proximate to the phenomenon of interest: Instead, the authors suggest that consolidation is a process of stabilization, routinization, and democrstic of patterns of political behavior.

This article offers a systemic assessment existing data sets of democracy used in large- N analysis and evaluates three challenges that researchers face in their construction: Meanwhile, the role of civil society is as deomcratic in consolidation as it is in democratization.

For example, although there is no consensus on whether economic growth and prospects for democratization are positively linked, scholars generally agree that economic growth contributes to democratic consolidation.

Export Citations Print Email Share. How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access democrahic institutions. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: