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Dictators and DemocratsMasses, Elites, and Regime Change$
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Stephan Haggard and Robert R. Kaufman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172149

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172149.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Transition Paths and the Quality of Democracy

Transition Paths and the Quality of Democracy

(p.173) Chapter 5 Transition Paths and the Quality of Democracy
Dictators and Democrats

Terence Teo

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines whether the nature of the transition—distributive conflict or elite-led—has any effect on the quality of democracy. More specifically, it asks whether transition paths reflect equifinality, the existence of multiple routes to the same outcome, or whether democratization through one path rather than another has a more enduring effect. Focusing on cases of reversion to authoritarian regimes, the chapter argues that mass mobilization may also constitute a check on government by raising the costs to both autocratic incumbents and their democratic successors of abusing executive power, violating human rights and civil liberties, and committing electoral fraud. Paired comparisons between similarly situated distributive conflict and elite-led transitions provide additional evidence on how mass mobilization can increase the quality of transitional elections, reduce the capacity of hard-liners to resort to repression, and impede the scope of institutional “lock-ins” that give exiting elites veto power.

Keywords:   transition paths, democratization, authoritarian regimes, mass mobilization, distributive conflict, elite-led transitions, repression, transitional elections, democracy

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