From Democratic Transition to Consolidation: The Analysis of 115 Cases of Democratic Transitions in Eighty-six Countries from 1955 to 2007




Oo, Min Zaw

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This dissertation analyzes 115 democratic transitions from autocracy within the period of 1955 to 2007. The main focus of the study aims to understand how a transitioning country consolidates democracy. This study also analyzes the alternative outcomes of democratic consolidation, such as the transitions which reverse to autocracy and the frozen transitions which fail to consolidate after three-election cycles. Methodologically, this project deploys both descriptive and inferential statistical methods, especially a logit model. This dissertation argues that a model standard of democratic consolidation does not fit into the majority of democratic transitions. By nature, a transition to democracy is a process of imperfections. Democratization is not a revolutionary event but an evolutionary process of transformed conflicts where former elites and new stakeholders continue to compete for power. In rare occasions, a transition may consolidate within the first election circle if underlying conditions are optimum at the time of the transition. But the majority of imperfectly consolidated democracies strengthen their democratic structures gradually if they manage to ameliorate shortcomings progressively. Economic development, civil violence, discrimination, civil liberty and factionalism are strong influential factors affecting a country’s potential to consolidation.



Democracy, Consolidation, Democratization, Cold War, Transition, Development