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A third wave of autocratization is here: what is new about it?

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Anna Lührmann
Staffan I Lindberg
Publicerad i Democratization
Volym 26
Nummer/häfte 7
Sidor 1095-1113
ISSN 13510347
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
V-Dem Institute
Sidor 1095-1113
Språk en
Länkar https://doi.org/10.1080/13510347.20...
Ämnesord autocracy, Autocratization, autogolpes, comparative democratization, democracy, democratic backsliding, democratic erosion, quantitative methods, waves of democratization
Ämneskategorier Statsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Less than 30 years after Fukuyama and others declared liberal democracy’s eternal dominance, a third wave of autocratization is manifest. Gradual declines of democratic regime attributes characterize contemporary autocratization. Yet, we lack the appropriate conceptual and empirical tools to diagnose and compare such elusive processes. Addressing that gap, this article provides the first comprehensive empirical overview of all autocratization episodes from 1900 to today based on data from the Varieties of Democracy Project (V-Dem). We demonstrate that a third wave of autocratization is indeed unfolding. It mainly affects democracies with gradual setbacks under a legal façade. While this is a cause for concern, the historical perspective presented in this article shows that panic is not warranted: the current declines are relatively mild and the global share of democratic countries remains close to its all-time high. As it was premature to announce the “end of history” in 1992, it is premature to proclaim the “end of democracy” now.

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