The Effect of Historical Pact Making and Civic Associations on Democratic Outcomes

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© 2016 Policy Studies Organization Scholarship in comparative democratization finds that dialogue between the opposition and the old regime before the advent of democratic elections has consistently produced stable democracies least susceptible to reversals. This is because such “pacted” transitions promote values such as conciliation, compromise building, and consensus seeking. Yet the debate concerning how historical pact making affects the quality of democracy remains mainly anecdotal. Using a dataset of transitional states, I find that not all variants of pacted transitions facilitate consolidation. Pacted transitions initiated by the ancien régime are susceptible to democratic reversal, while transitions where the balance of power between the ancien régime and civic forces is equal in initiating regime change are associated with better democratic outcomes least susceptible to democratic collapse. The article also shows that regime transitions are very much influenced by other historical path-dependent factors—specifically the role of civic associations and coalitions during the transitional process. Related Articles: Sarquís, David. 2012. “Democratization after the Arab spring: The Case of Egypt's Political Transition.” Politics & Policy 40 (5): 871–903. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2012.00381.x/full. Beal, Amanda, and Leah Graham. 2014. “Foundations for Change: Rule of Law, Development, and Democratization.” Politics & Policy 41 (3): 311–345. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/polp.12077/full. Luckhurst, Jonathan. 2012. “Governance and Democratization since the 2008 Financial Crisis.” Politics & Policy 40 (5): 958–977. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2012.00386.x/full. Related Media: National Endowment for Democracy. 2013. “Reconsidering Democratic Transitions 2 Francis Fukuyama, Donald Horowitz, Larry Diamond.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDUwmxcx_UI. TU8964. 2015. “Transitions from above Pacted Transitions.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-GPhuDWb3w. Coleman, Isobel. 2014. “Democracy Can Still Deliver.” Council on Foreign Relations. http://blogs.cfr.org/coleman/category/democratization/.



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Politics and Policy

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