Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Tasks of Democratic Transition and Transferability

The Tasks of Democratic Transition and Transferability


There is no single road to democracy. However, there are some factors that seem to have consistently positive effects on democratic development. These include the existence of a large and diverse civil society; a sharp political break with the authoritarian past, followed by regular turnovers in political leadership and governing parties; stable state borders; and political institutions which empower parliaments and, in culturally diverse societies, give minorities political voice without locking them into permanent coalitions that block collaboration across group divides in pursuit of common goals. Less important are economic considerations—though economic reforms are far more likely in democratic settings than in authoritarian regimes and far more supportive over the medium- and long-term of robust economic performance.

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