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DEMOCRATIZATION-To Democracy Through Anocracy

  • BMW Center GAES, School Foreign Service, Georgetown University & Institute of Political Social Sciences, UA Barcelona


Democratization has been associated with relatively short "transitions" from autocratic regimes. Yet 40 out of 89 currently existing democracies have not been established by means of a direct or short transition from an autocratic regime, but by a process of opening from a long-lasting intermediate or "hybrid" regime, also called "anocracy" or "partly free" regime in the literature.1 This type of regime typically involves significant freedom together with either limited suffrage rights, restrictions on electoral competition or constrained accountability of elected rulers. An anocracy is not a brief transitional situation, but a type of regime that tends to be as long living as democracies or autocratic dictatorships (PDF) To Democracy Through Anocracy. Available from: [accessed Mar 30 2020].
Volume 13
Issue 1
To Democracy
Through Anocracy
Democratization has been associated with relatively short
"transitions" from autocratic regimes. Yet 40 out of 89 currently
existing democracies have not been established by means of a
direct or short transition from an autocratic regime, but by a process
of opening from a long-lasting intermediate or "hybrid" regime,
also called "anocracy" or "partly free" regime in the literature.1
This type of regime typically involves significant freedom together
with either limited suffrage rights, restrictions on electoral
competition or constrained accountability of elected rulers. An
anocracy is not a brief transitional situation, but a type of regime
that tends to be as long living as democracies or autocratic
Intrigued by this finding against the odds of conventional
wisdom, we revisit the classic topic of regime types and regime
changes. Based on well-grounded conceptual discussion, we use a
trichotomous classification of regime types, including the
intermediate anocratic category between democracy and autocracy,
and the subsequent six-fold typology of regime changes.
Volume 13
Issue 1
We have analyzed 581 political regimes having lasted for at
least five years and 414 political regime changes in 167
countries (all countries of the world with more than half a
million inhabitants) from 1800 to 2013.This is the longest
time span of a trichotomous measure of political regimes
and regime changes currently available, which should be of
critical value for further empirical studies.*
From this platform, we confirm, first, that anocracy is a
type of regime different from both democracy and autocracy
and not only a situation or transitional stage of relatively brief
duration between the other two types. More innovatively,
we observe that the diffusion of regimes of anocratic type
is not only a recent development produced by incomplete
democratization attempts in the last few decades, but a
category that can enlighten numerous cases of traditionally
called "mixed" or "hybrid" regimes in the nineteenth century
and until the mid-twentieth century.
Second, we revise the number of regime changes between
each pair of the three categories since late eighteenth
century, in order to see whether a general tendency
towards democratization holds when the intermediate
type is included and how the three-fold categorization can
affect the magnitude of the tendency. While we confirm a
general tendency towards increasing democratization, we
also note the high number of countries in which anocratic
or intermediate regimes have preceded complete openings
to full democracy. This observation holds both for the "third
wave" of democratization during the last 40 years and for
the previous historical period.
Classifying Regime Types
Typologies of political regimes based on quantitative
measurements are typically supported by scales of
democracy, autocracy, political freedom or similar
variables. However, the concept of political regime requires
disjunct categories. When change is measured only by
change in scores in continuous scales, the concept of
political regime vanishes. If democracy were only a matter
of degree, it might be difficult to agree on whether
democracy began to exist in any country at any
particular moment.
Most of the available regime typologies are either
dichotomous or trichotomous. Dichotomous classifications
consider only democracy and dictatorship whereas
trichotomous classifications include an intermediate type
20 between democracy and dictatorship2The annual reports of
Freedom House provide a seven-point measure of political
and civil rights, from which three types are distinguished:
free, partly free, and not free countries (respectively
corresponding to scales 1to 2.5, 3 to 5, and 5.5 to 7) since
19723 The Polity project provides scales of democracy and of
autocracy from + 10 to -10, which are the basis for a threefold
classification of regimes in democracies, anocracies and
autocracies (respectively based on scales +6 to + 10, -5 to
+5, and -10 to -6), for the period since 18004.
An alternative for a long period also starting in the
nineteenth century is the Political Regime Database
However, we have at least two caveats that incline us not
to prefer this database: first, it includes a "Transition"
category which, paradoxically, in many cases does not lead
to a different type of regime, and second, in spite of having
the "transitional" category it codes many experiences that
have lasted for only one, two or other short periods of a few
years as regimes and not as transitions.
While taking into account that the classifications
obtained from most of the above-mentioned data-sources
are strongly correlated, we base our analyses on the Polity
project because it is the most encompassing one, especially
for the inclusion of the three types of regime and for the
length of the period covered.
Identifying "Hybrid" Regimes
The relevance of changes from autocracies that stopped
short of full democratization was observed already
by Samuel Huntington with his distinction between
democratization and liberalization .He conceived the latter
as the "partial opening" of an autocratic system short of
choosing government leaders through freely competitive
Dealing also with forms of regime change, Josep
Colomer characterized "a moderate reform of authoritarian
which generally leads
a limited
democracy” as
a stage involving political party elections by broad suffrage,
but also "restrictions on the activity of certain parties,
an electoral system that deviates representation in their
...a halfway category of political
regime, which was called ''semi-
democracy ", "hybrid" regime and
other names, was envisaged as the
result of numerous processes of
"liberalization"or "reform"in Eastern
Europe, Latin America and Africa in
the 1990s and early 2000s.
(incumbents'] favor, the continuity of certain institutions,
and the absence of the settling of accounts and reprisals
against authoritarians"
Subsequently, a halfway category of political regime,
which was called "semi-democracy”, "hybrid" regime and
other names, was envisaged as the result of numerous
processes of "liberalization" or "reform" in Eastern Europe,
Latin America and Africa in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Terry Karl introduced the notion of "hybrid" regime,
which was defined as a combination of democratic and
authoritarian elements, while Larry Diamond coined the
expression "electoral authoritarianism”. This category
includes both regimes with non-competitive elections (due to
limited franchise, restricted entrance or skewed incumbent
advantage) and regimes with competitive and open elections
but no government's electoral accountability because the
effective power of elected officials is heavily limited. Further
on, Andreas Schedler and his collaborators have broadly
studied electoral authoritarian regimes. Along similar lines,
Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way characterize such a type of
regime as those "that are sufficiently competitive to guarantee
real uncertainty (and even turnover) but which fall short
of democracy". Looking at the beast from the other side,
other authors coined the expression "defective democracy"
for regimes holding elections with insufficient degrees of
franchise and participation rights, political freedom or
government accountability. Alternative proposals to deal
with the same phenomenon include labels such as "illiberal
democracy", "semi-authoritarianism'', "semi-dictatorship"
and others.
Matthijs Bogaards proposed to combine into a single
category "two of the most systematic recent approaches,
centered on the concepts of 'defective democracy' and
'electoral authoritarianism'' :which was to be operationalized
as for those regimes having moderate negative values
and moderate positive values in the Polity scale of
authoritarianism and democracy. We share the conclusion
that "hybrid regimes are neither a subtype of autocracies
nor of democracies, but a regime type of their own”,
which "are not to be confused with regimes in transition"
or with transitional phases
In order to distinguish durable anocratic regimes from
processes of change, we discard as regimes those situations
having lasted for less than five years, as this seems to be a
common period for regime change. As change generally
develops over several variables (electoral competitiveness,
participation, constitutional constraints on rulers, etc.), all
changes not always occur in unison and a new full regime
may require a few years to be established. In particular, a
democracy or an anocracy lasting for at least five years
1 8 0 0 - 2 0 1 3
usually includes at least two elections, which may imply
a minimum appreciable degree of institutional stability
Our calculations for regime type duration from 1800 to
2013 are shown in Table 1. In particular, we observe that the
average duration of the all the 301 cases coded as anocracy
is about 19years.However, in many cases anocracy lasts for
only a few years and is followed by further regime change.
By discarding all transitional situations with a short duration
ofless than five years, we find 185 cases of nontransitional
anocratic regimes with an average duration of 30 years. These
values made durable anocracies comparable to the values of
durable autocracies and democracies (as also counted for
those having lasted for at least five years), which are 262 cases
with an average duration of 35 years and 134 cases with an
average duration of 34 years, respectively. This permits us
to confirm that long-lasting anocracy is a distinctive type of
regime which deserves to be included as such, together with
autocracy and democracy, in analyses of regime duration,
change, and relationships with other variables.
In light of the high number of electoral authoritarian
regimes during the last few decades, Larry Diamond
hypothesized that "this type of regime, which is now so
common, is very much a product of the contemporary
world". Similar observations have placed "the emergence"
of hybrid regimes at the end of the Cold War and in the wake
of the "third wave" of democratization 12 However, the
category of hybrid regime or anocracy turns out to also be
very helpful to comprehend many historical experiences of
traditionally called "mixed" regimes in the nineteenth
century and until the mid-twentieth century in several
Relevant cases of long duration of anocracy in
relatively remote past periods include, first of all, a
number of constitutional monarchies in Europe holding
"elections before democracy"
This was the case of the
United Kingdom for most of the time since mid-eighteenth
century, after the King ceased using his veto over
legislation and the prime minister elected by the
parliament began to regularly become the actual chief
In spite of significant legal restrictions to
enfranchisement, "the electorate was a numerically
impressive, and for most of this period [1760-1832], a
steadily increasing entity. It comprised a vast, if
somewhat nebulous, electoral pool of fairly
Source: Authors' calculations with data from Polity IV project.
For all cases
Average Duration
For cases with duration .> 5 years
Average Duration
Volume 13
Issue 1
wealthy, propertied individuals. Its members participated
with commendable frequency in elections whenever the
possibilities of such participation were open to them''; control
of elections by local elites became difficult and most elections
were open to innovative candidates and uncertain results 15
Following an 'anocratic' experience of about 150 years, the
United Kingdom evolved to democracy after a sequence of
enlargements of suffrage rights, which included up to a
majority of adult men by 1886.
In France, an anocratic constitutional monarchy followed
by a brief second republic covered the period 1814-1851
in between the two autocratic empires headed by the two
Napoleons. Three constitutional monarchies and a short-
lived republic also existed in Spain in 1836-1858 and in
1868-1899. Regular elections were held, although with
restrictions to participation and competition, before
universal male suffrage and open entry to non-dynastic
parties were introduced in 1890
In Germany, universal
male suffrage for the Imperial Bundestag was introduced
In light of the high number of
electoral authoritarian regimes during
the last few decades, Larry Diamond
hypothesized that 'this type of regime,
which is now so common, is
very much a product of the
contemporary world
in 1871. Yet there was no parliamentary control of the
cabinet, as, in chancellor Bismarck's view, "the control of
the government, which is indispensable to the country, is
neither to be checked nor allowed to gain a complete
The experience lasted until the establishment of
the democratic Weimar republic in 1918. In Italy, regular
elections were held since the unification of the country in
1861 along with a gradual enlargement of the electorate until
it encompassed all adult men, an experience interrupted by
fascism in 1924.In Sweden, voting rights were given to men
fulfilling property or income qualifications from 1855 on,
until universal suffrage was suddenly introduced by premier
Lindman in 1913.
Intermediate institutional formulas between autocracy
and democracy with different degrees of suffrage restrictions
and of political instability also existed in the past in several
new independent republics in America. An 'anocratic' regime
existed, first of all, in the United States from 1787 until at
least the 1808-1809 elections (according to Polity's scores).
Intermediate regimes of anocratic type are also coded for
Mexico for most of the time from its first independent
elections in 1822, passing by the opening "reform'' led by
Benito Juarez, until the establishment of a long dictatorship
in 1875.In Colombia, restricted-suffrage but relatively open
elections were regularly held in the period 1832-1866, with
"a record of outward stability superior to that of most of
Latin America': which was followed by a period of more
conflictive democratization, and again since 1886, in "the
longest period of internal political stability of [the country's]
independent historyso that "by the 1930s Colombia was on
the edge of being acclaimed as an exemplary Latin American
only in 195619In Brazil, the Republic established in 1889
introduced direct elections with restricted suffrage and
competition, which initiated the longest period of political
regime stability and absence of major violent conflicts in
Latin America until 193120 In Chile an extremely long
period of high political stability, which was sustained upon
low electoral participation, extended from 1822 to 1963,
when a democratic regime was established. 21
Other major anocratic experiences, according to Polity's
codes, include Japan, where a constitutional monarchy was
established during the Meji period, initiated in the 1860s,
by introducing the election of a legislative assembly with
limited franchise, while the cabinet was responsible only
to the emperor, in a comparable way to late nineteenth
century Germany. Democracy was established in Japan after
the Second World War. In China, a republic replacing the
traditional Empire in 1911became an anocratic experience
that was ended by military invasion by Japan in 1936. The
monarchy of Egypt, which declared independence from the
British protectorate in 1922, also held constitutional elections
until the military coup d'etat in 1951. Liberia established an
independent republic based on the principles denoted in the
United States constitution in 1847, although with political
competition constrained within America- Liberians, which
lasted until the so-called "invisible protectorate" adopted by
the U.S. in 1908.
The data show that diversely labeled intermediate
"anocracies", "partly free" or "hybrid" regimes have been
a broadly diffused experience at least since traditional
absolutist monarchies and colonial empires were shaken
up in a few countries during the eighteenth century. Our data
confirm the importance of this type of regime during the
third wave of democratization started in the 1970s, especially
in Asia, Africa and the Arab region. The longest-lasting,
currently existing anocratic regimes include Singapore
since 1959 and Malaysia since 1969.
Types of Regime Change
The three-fold classification of regime types permits
us to identify six types of regime change: three towards
democracy, that is, "partial opening" from autocracy to
anocracy, "complete opening" from anocracy to
democracy, and "transition" from autocracy to
democracy, and three in the reverse direction: "partial
closing" from democracy to anocracy, "complete closing"
from anocracy to autocracy, and "breakdown" from
democracy to autocracy.
every country has an initial political
regime, the
total number of regimes (581 as reported in table 1) =
number of countries (167) + number of regime
changes (414).
Source: Authors' calculations with data from
Polity IV
project .
We consider only changes between different types of
regime, not within each type, thus we do not count as a
regime change the replacement of a dictator with another,
limited institutional reforms in an anocratic regime,
or a constitutional revision in democracy
mostly led by fractionalized elites by way of negotiations and
as was
the "third
but also other relatively fast experiences of democratization
from autocracy involving stronger mass mobilizations or
significant violence, as was more frequent in previous
periods, and particularly at the end of the Second World
War. The independence of colonies and the creation of new
countries are counted as changes from autocracy, even if the
metropolis was democratic, as for the autocratic condition of
colonial domination, such as, for instance, in the case of the
process in India from the United Kingdom in 1947-50.
.The numbers for each type of regime change are given in
Table 2.
We find much higher numbers of changes in the direction
towards democratization than in the reverse direction during
more than two hundred years (293 vs. 121 changes). In
particular, regarding the intermediate category of anocracy,
we confirm and expand on the observation for electoral
authoritarianism that it "has not spread primarily at the
expense of democracy, but of non-electoral autocracies"
(Schedler 2013: 3). There are nowadays two and a half times
more anocracies which were established from autocracies
than from democracies (36 and 14, respectively) . Cases
include former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the
USSR in 1991, including Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,
as well as Georgia which eventually evolved to democracy
in 2003. In the Arab region, anocratic regimes with limited
albeit positive degrees of political freedom have existed in
Tunisia since 1987, Jordan since 1989, Algeria since 1995,
as well as, in spite of enormous challenges, in Egypt and
Iraq for some short periods since 2005. A most recent case
of anocracy by semi-opening is the monarchy of Bhutan,
which began to be opened to parties and elections since 2008
when it adopted its first modern constitution.
All this illustrates the liberalizing character of most
anocracies, in contrast to those that imply a reversal of a
previous democratization. However, the rate of success
has been double for those who have attempted to close
an existing democratic regime than for those who have
attempted to open an autocratic regime. While more than
half of the attempts at partially closing a democracy have
led to currently existing anocracies (14 of 24 cases), only
less than one fourth of the attempts to open an autocracy
have led to currently existing anocracies (36 of 159 cases).
Regarding democracy, of the 89 currently existing
democratic regimes in countries with more than half a
million population, 49 were established from autocracies
by means of relatively short processes of transition of less
than five years of duration, and 40 were established from
previously existing anocracies having lasted in average for
about 34 years.Both the way of transition from an autocratic
regime and the way of opening from an intermediate
anocracy have produced rates of about two-thirds of success.
Specifically, 49 of the 75 attempted transitions and 40 of
the 59 attempted complete openings have led to currently
existing democracies.
Processes of complete opening to democracy from a
previously existing anocratic regime have been almost as
popular as direct transitions from autocracies in all
"waves" of democratization, in particular before and after
1973. Among the 28 currently existing democracies that
were established during the period from early nineteenth
century to 1973, 13were established from anocratic regimes
while the other 15 were by short transitions. Specifically,
democracy was the outcome of processes from previously
existing anocratic regimes in cases such as the United States,
the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Canada
during the nineteenth century. In contrast, short
transitions led to democracy especially in former British
colonies such
as New Zealand, Australia and India, in
Western Europe
including France, Germany and Italy,
and in Japan at the
end of the Second World War.
Likewise, in the most recent period since 1974, in which
most current democracies have been established, comparable
numbers have been the result of transitions and of openings:
35 and 27, respectively.Short and mostly peaceful transitions
developed in Southern Europe in the 1970s, Latin America
No. Countries
No. Cases
Partial opening (from autocracy to anocracy)
Complete opening (from anocracy to democracy)
Transition (from autocracy to democracy)
Partial closing (from democracy to anocracy)
Complete closing (from anocracy to autocracy)
Breakdown (from democracy to autocracy)
Grand Total
Volume 13
Issue 1
in the 1980s and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s; well-
known cases include the "carnation revolution" in Portugal
in 1974, the negotiations and pacts in Spain in 1977-78, the
Round Table in Poland in 1989, and the defeat and collapse
of the military regime in Argentina in 1983.Though, no less
robust democracies were established by relatively smooth
evolutions of anocratic regimes in Latin America, East Asia
and Africa since the 1980s, including in countries such as
Brazil by means of a slow opening of military rule which
was completed by 1985, Mexico after competitive elections
called by the ruling party in 1996, South Korea after an open
presidential election in 1987 by which a civilian government
replaced military rule, and Taiwan through gradual reforms
from a single-party regime.
In this light, disappointment of relatively recent
expectations of democratization after failed openings in
certain regions, such as in Asian republics of the former
Soviet Union and in the Arab Spring, might be moderated.
The current "modest harvest" collected in those and other
We find much higher numbers
changes in the direction towards
democratization than in the reverse
direction during more than two
hundred years.
cases should not necessarily produce stern pessimism
regarding the prospects for democracy in those lands. We
should bear in mind that nearly three fourths of the countries
of the world have experienced durable anocratic regimes.
Most countries with anocratic regimes eventually evolved
into democracy. And, as we have just mentioned, nearly
half of the democracies that exist in more than half of the
countries of the world arrived to the current type of regime
from previously existing intermediate, anocratic regimes,
which have lasted on average for about two generations,
rather than more directly by short democratic transitions
from autocracy.
The average duration of past experiences of anocratic
regimes was longer than that of failed democracies (34 vs.
19years). Yet the currently existing anocracies have lasted,
so far, much less than those in the past (20 years for those
coded as such in 2013). This might suggest that currently
existing anocracies could still last for a while, but also that
they could follow further processes of "complete opening"
to democracy in not too distant futures (perhaps one more
generation, on average), as did their predecessors.
By using a trichotomous classification of regime types that
includes the intermediate category of anocracy between
democracy and autocracy, we have developed a new analysis of
political regime types and regime changes in all countries of the
world with more than half a million inhabitants from 1800 to 2013.
We have been able to present a number of innovative insights:
We have confirmed, quantified and illustrated that anocracy or
hybrid regime can be considered not a transitional situation
between autocracy and democracy, but a long- living type of
political regime. This intermediate category can enlighten the
analysis of numerous cases of mixed monarchies and comparable
institutional arrangements during the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. A large majority of the current anocracies
were established after processes of liberalization from
autocracies, rather than from failed experiences of
democratization. Non-transitional anocracies have had a similar
duration to that of autocracies and democracies in modern times.
Attempts at democratization have been about equally
successful when they have been tried from autocracies by
means of a short transition as when they have been the result
of a relatively smooth evolution from an intermediate or
anocratic regime. During the "third wave" of democratization
initiated in 1974, in which most currently existing democracies
have been established, comparable numbers of them have
resulted from transitions and from opening. These preliminary
findings should trigger and help further innovative discussion
and research.
JOSEP M. COLOMER is Research Professor of Government and Senior
Fellow in Democracy and Governance at Georgetown University, in
Washington, DC, author of more than 200 academic articles and book
chapters and author or editor of 23 books in six languages, including
The Science of Politics (Oxford 2010). DAVID BANERJEA holds a Master's
degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. FERNANDO
B. DE MELLO holds a Master's degree in Latin
American Studies from
Georgetown University.
The data set can be accessed at .7910/DVN/ MPPYZR .
Reference: David Banerjea and Fernando B. Mello,
"To Democracy through Anocracy''. Harvard
Dataverse, 2015.
2 They include the tables provided by Mike Alvarez, Jose Antonio
Cheibub, Fernando Limongi, and Adam Przeworski, "Classifying Political
Regime," Studies in Comparative International Development 31 (2,
1996): 3-36, and Adam Przeworski, Michael E. Alvarez, Jose Antonio
Cheibub, and Fernando Limongi, Democracy and Development: Political
Institutions and Well-Being in the World, 1950-1990 (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2000), which cover only the period 1950-
1990, more recently extended by Jose Antonio Cheibub, Jennifer Gandhi,
James Raymond Vreeland, "Democracy and Dictatorship Revisited;'
Public Choice 143 (2010): 67-101. An alternative for the much longer
period 1800-2007 is provided by Carles Boix, Michael Miller, and Sebastian
Rosato, ''A Complete Data Set of Political Regimes, 1800-2007;'
Comparative Political Studies 46 (12, 2012): 1523-1554.
Freedom House, "Freedom in the World" (2014), at
www.freedomhouse . org.
4 Monty G. Marshall and Ted Robert Gurr, "Political Regime Characteristics
and Transitions, 1800-2013;' Polity IV project, at http://
Mark J. Gasiorowski, "An Overview of the Political Regime Change
Comparative Political Studies
29 (4, 1996): 469-83,
revised and
extended by Gary Reich, "Categorizing Political Regimes: New Data for
Old Problems:'
2002): 1-24.
More surveys and discussion of different measures and classifications
can be found in Zachary Elkins, "Gradations of Democracy? Empirical
Tests of
Journal of
44 (2,
2000): 293-300;
Munck and Jay
Verkuilen, "Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy : Evaluating
Alternative indices:'
Comparative Political Studies
2002): 5-
Daniel Pemstein, Stephen A. Meserve and James Melton, "Democratic
Compromise: A
Latent variable Analysis of Ten Measures of Regime Type;'
Political Analysis18 (2010): 426-449, Carles Boix et al. (2012) cit. Polity IV is
also used as the basis for a threefold typology by David L. Epstein, Robert
Bates, Jack
Goldstone, Ida Kristensen and Sharyn O'Halloran, "Democratic
American Journal of Political Science
50 (3, 2006): 551-569,
the authors do not use the categories suggested by the source, but their own
they call autocracy, partial democracy, and full democracy
(respectively corresponding to scales
0, +l
could be read as implying that the intermediate category must be entirely on
the positive (or "democratic") half of the scale, but the authors emphasize that
"leaving autocracy is not the same as entering democracy" and that "partial
democracies emerge as among the most important and least understood
regime types''. In comparison with the three categories suggested by Polity IV,
which we use in the current article, the classification by Epstein et al. would
underestimate the spread and importance of intermediate regimes.
Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late
Twentieth Century (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991): 9.
Josep M. Colomer, "Transitions by Agreement;' American Political
Science Review 85 (4, 1991): 1284. Terry Lynn Karl, "The Hybrid
Regimes of Central America, ‘Journal of Democracy 6 (3, 1995): 72-87;
Josep M. Colomer, Strategic Transitions (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins
University Press, 2000): 33-36, where
a distinction is made "between
'democraduras' (hard democracies), corresponding to regimes that
hold regular multiparty elections but in which the rule of law is not secure and civil
rights are commonly violated, and 'dictablandas' (soft dictatorships), referring to
situations with an appreciable degree of liberty but unfair, irrelevant, or nonexisting
elections although also observing a "high empirical correlation between the two
dimensions -civil liberties and fair elections"; Larry Diamond, "Elections
Democracy: Thinking about Hybrid Regimes," Journal of Democracy
Edward D. Mansfield, Jack
Snyder, "Democratic
Transitions, Institutional
Strength, and War:' International Organization 56 (2, 2002): 297-337; Steven
Levitsky and Lucan A. Way, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the
Cold War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010): 3; Andreas Schedler, The
Politics of Uncertainty: Sustaining and Subverting Electoral Authoritarianism (Oxford and
New York: Oxford University Pre Hans-Joachim Lauth, "Die empirische messing
demokratischer Grauzonen:' in Petra Bendel, Aurel Croissant and Friedbert Rub eds.,
Zwischen Demokratie und Diktatur: Zur Konzeption und Empire Demokratischer
Grauzonen (Opladen: Leske & Budrich, 2002), cited by Matthijs Bogaards, "How to
Classify Hybrid Regimes? Defective Democracy and Electoral Authoritarianism,"
Democratization 16 (April 2009): 415. See also Thomas Carothers, "The End of the
Transition Paradigm;'Journal of Democracy 13 (January 2002): 5-21; Marina Ottaway,
Democracy Challenged : The Rise of Semi-Authoritarianism (Washington DC: Carnegie
ss, 2013).
Endowment for International Peace,
Nicolas van de Walle, "Between
Authoritarianism and Democracy;'
Journal of Democracy
2012): 169-173.
The five-year period is also discussed and used by Edward D. Mansfield and Jack
Electing to Fight Why Emerging Democracies Go to War
(Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press,
2005): 78.
Larry Diamond (2002) cit.: 24; Levitsky and Way (2010) cit.; Alfred Stepan and Juan J.
Linz, "Democratization Theory and the 'Arab Spring7' Journal of Democracy 24 (April
2013): 15-30.
Eduardo Posada-Carbo, Elections Before Democracy: The History of Elections in
Europe and Latin America (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996).
Colin G.C. Tite, Impeachment and Parliamentary Judicature in Early Stuart
England (London: Athlone, 1974).
Frank O'Gorman, The Emergence of the British Two-Party System 1760- 1832 (New
York: Holmes & Meyer, 1982): 389 ff.
Jose Varela Ortega, Los amigos políticos. Partidos, elecciones y caciquismo en la
Restauraci6n (1875-1900) (Madrid: Alianza, 1977); Javier Tusell ed., El sufragio
universal (Madrid: Ayer, 1991).
Otto Fiirst von Bismarck, The Memoirs (New York: Howard Fertig,
[1899] 1966): 69.
Leif Lewin, Ideology and Strategy. A Century of Swedish Politics
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
David Bushnell, The Making of Modern Colombia: A Nation In Spite of Itself
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993): 74, 155.
Richard Graham, Patronage and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Brazil
(Stanford: Stanford University Press,
Samuel J. Valenzuela, "Building Aspects of Democracy Before Democracy:
Electoral Practices in Nineteenth-century Chile:' in Eduardo Posada-Carbo,
Before Democracy
(New York: St Martin's Press,
1996): 223-57.
More generally for data
on elections and political regimes in Latin America during the nineteenth century, see
also Antonio Annino
ed., Historia de las elecciones en Iberoamerica, siglo XIX
(Mexico: Fondo de
Cultura Economica,
Josep M. Colomer, "Taming the Tiger:
Voting Rights and Political Instability in Latin America:'
Latin American Politics and
2004): 29-58
This is in contrast, for instance, with the counting of different autocratic regimes
by Barbara Geddes, Joseph Wright, and Erica Frantz, ''Autocratic Breakdown and
Regime Transitions: A New Data Set,"
Perspectives on Politics
2014): 313-
... Since more than 20 years have passed since Russia's accession to the ECHR, we believe it more appropriate to discuss Russia-ECtHR relations with an understanding that "anocracy or hybrid regime [s] can be considered not a transitional situation between autocracy and democracy, but a long-living hype of political regime" (Colomer 2016). It follows that the concept that Russia is not a transitional society that is "not yet there," allows a less emotional assessment of the ECtHR's impact on Russia's legal system, as well as vice versa, Russia's impact on the ECtHR. ...
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... Finalmente, con 26.55 por ciento de la ciudadanía, el grupo de los anócratas está conformado por quienes apoyan muy poco a la democracia (0.331) y están en desacuerdo con los valores de la tolerancia política (0.391); no se puede decir categóricamente que los anócratas intolerantes sean personas autoritarias. La anocracia designa regímenes políticos que no pueden ser calificados democráticos, pero tampoco plenamente autocracias (Colomer, Banerjea y de Mello, 2016); los datos disponibles sólo permiten saber que los anócratas no consideran que la democracia sea la mejor forma de gobierno, ni creen que deba permitirse un ejercicio irrestricto de los derechos políticos. ...
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This chapter questions the common understanding that lack of trust is negative to strengthening democracy and that public lack of trust signals that a liberal democracy is in crisis. It notes how the contemporary drift toward authoritarianism within many established liberal democracies is often coupled with the ideologization of surveillance policies and practices to echo the discourses and goals of far-left and far-right populism. It then clarifies how a democratic lack of trust within civil society can constructively stem these drifts toward authoritarian tendencies, which are so commonly enabled by state and corporate surveillance practices. In order to do so, it establishes notions of trust, trustworthiness, and intelligent accountability and develops a militantly democratic approach to oversight of surveillance by civil society. Subsequently, three country-based cases are explored: Germany, Poland, and the United States, which share the political encroachment of far-right populism to varying degrees. Critically analyzing these cases clarifies the importance of a militant democratic approach to curtailing authoritarianism and also to reimagining and resemantizing the power and knowledge dynamics existent between civil society, the state, and corporations, in order to enable democratic oversight and ensure security upholding human rights and civil liberties.
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A comprehensive and integrated framework for the analysis of data is offered and used to assess data sets on democracy. The framework first distinguishes among three challenges that are sequentially addressed: conceptualization, measurement, and aggregation. In turn, it specifies distinct tasks associated with these challenges and the standards of assessment that pertain to each task. This framework is applied to the data sets on democracy most frequently used in current statistical research, generating a systematic evaluation of these data sets. The authors’ conclusion is that constructors of democracy indices tend to be quite self-conscious about methodological issues but that even the best indices suffer from important weaknesses. More constructively, the article’s assessment of existing data sets on democracy identifies distinct areas in which attempts to improve the quality of data on democracy might fruitfully be focused.
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This article discusses the relationship between certain institutional regulations of voting rights and elections, different levels of electoral participation, and the degree of political instability in several Latin American political experiences. A formal model specifies the hypotheses that sudden enlargements of the electorate may provoke high levels of political instability, especially under plurality and other restrictive electoral rules, while gradual enlargements of the electorate may prevent much electoral and political innovation and help stability. Empirical data illustrate these hypotheses. A historical survey identifies different patterns of political instability and stability in different countries and periods, which can be compared with the adoption of different voting rights regulations and electoral rules either encouraging or depressing turnout.
This book looks at various aspects of electoral history in Europe and Latin America, from the late 17th century to 1930, including electoral culture and traditions, electoral participation, electoral fraud, the role of elections in the process of nation-building, and the role of important institutions, such as the Church, in shaping political values and therefore electoral behaviour. There are chapters devoted to the individual experiences of England, Mexico, Ecuador, Ireland, Germany, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Spain.
More than twenty-five years have passed since the publication of Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Prospects for Democracy, the four pioneering volumes edited by Guillermo O’Donnell, Philippe C. Schmitter, and Laurence Whitehead that inaugurated third-wave democratization theory. More than fifteen years have passed since the 1996 publication of our own Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe. Looking back, what do we find useable or applicable from works on democratization from this earlier period, and what concepts need to be modified? In particular, what new perspectives are needed in light of the recent upheavals in the Arab world? Here we focus on three topics that have been illuminated by the events of the Arab Spring: 1) the relationship between democracy and religion, especially in the world’s Muslim-majority countries; 2) the character of hybrid regimes that mix authoritarian and democratic elements; and 3) the nature of “sultanism” and its implications for transitions to democracy.
A new type of regime emerged at the end of the Cold War and in the wake of the “third wave” of democratization—one that holds regular multiparty elections while remaining fundamentally authoritarian. Political scientists have for the past decade been exploring this paradoxical combination and attempting to classify such regimes, of which there are many examples around the world. In April 2002, the Journal of Democracy published a cluster of articles titled “Elections Without Democracy” that included contributions by Larry Diamond, Andreas Schedler, and myself, as well as Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way, who wrote about “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism.” This impressive and much anticipated book expands on the ideas put forward in that essay. The volume is comprehensive in its coverage both of the recent literature on democratization and of contemporary democratic practices in the non-Western world; and it is also an empirical tour de force featuring authoritative analyses of nearly three-dozen countries. The authors define competitive authoritarian regimes as political systems that remain essentially authoritarian despite allowing meaningful electoral competition. They occupy an ambiguous political space between full authoritarianism and democracy, with its respect for political and civil liberties. Levitsky and Way effectively distinguish their category from other similar classifications, such as Diamond’s “hybrid regimes” and Schedler’s “electoral autocracies.” Competitive authoritarianism, the authors argue, is a more restrictive category. It is limited to authoritarian regimes that, despite their illiberalism, feature political competition meaningful enough for opposition forces to view elections as a possible path to power. In their introduction, Levitsky and Way identify 35 competitive authoritarian regimes that existed in the early 1990s. The remainder of the volume traces the divergent trajectories of these countries over the last two decades: fifteen democratized, while nineteen remained competitive authoritarian. Only one—Russia—has regressed to full authoritarianism. In order to explain these divergent outcomes, the authors identify three key factors: 1) Where the West has high levels of leverage, democratization is more likely; 2) similarly, where ties or linkages with the West are denser, the probability of democratization rises; and 3) where the state apparatus and ruling party are cohesive and enjoy large amounts of organizational power, a competitive authoritarian regime has a better chance of staying in place. In terms of the respective effects of each factor, the authors’ analysis is precise and rigorous. With regard to explaining precisely how the three relate to one another, however, it is less so. Having laid out their complex explanatory framework in the first quarter of the book, the authors devote the book’s last three-hundred pages to an impressively comprehensive empirical analysis in which they test their theory against all thirty-five cases. Country specialists will no doubt question the odd judgment call here and there in a book that is chock full of them; but the impressive accumulation of facts, examples, and insights in support of their thesis from such a diverse array of countries and situations is compelling. Labeling this brand of authoritarianism a type of “regime” implies a degree of permanence in its political institutions, and Levitsky and Way argue accordingly that competitive authoritarian regimes can last a long time. They are skeptical that the regular convening of elections must inevitably bring democratic change. Despite the suggestion of permanence, however, the book’s main purpose is to study change in these systems. Moreover, the authors’ finding that more than a third of their cases democratized between 1990 and 2008 while only one regressed does not undermine the democratization-by-elections thesis that has been advanced by Staffan Lindberg and others. Levitsky and Way are correct to suggest that a new type of political system—one that is neither entirely authoritarian nor fully democratic—emerged toward the end of the twentieth century. But have they defined that system correctly? Their categorization seems simultaneously too broad and quite narrow. For instance, it includes both Botswana, a country regularly rated Free by Freedom House over the last twenty years, and Belarus, a country consistently rated Not Free during the same period. Clearly, neither is perfectly democratic nor authoritarian in the old-fashioned sense, though surely Belarus comes pretty close to being authoritarian. The vast...
Focusing on the period from 1840 to 1889, one of the leading historians on Brazil explores the specific ways in which granting protection, official positions, and other favors in exchange for political and personal loyalty worked to benefit the interests of wealthy Brazilians.