Democracy's Third Wave Summary

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Hin“Democracy’s Third Wave” by Samuel P. Huntington Introduction: * First “long” wave of democratization A. Began 1820’s with US suffrage extension B. Ended 1926 with 26 countries democratized * First “reverse” wave C. Began in 1922 with Mussolini D. Ended 1946 with now only 12 democracies * Second wave from 1947 (end of WWII) to 1962 (now 36 democratic countries) * Second reverse wave from 1960 to 1975 (now 30 countries) * ***Third Wave of democratization in the modern world*** E. From 1974 to 1990 F. 30 countries transitioned into democracy (roughly ¾ of them where predominantly Catholic; Catholic democratization impetus ended in 1990) * Question now: Will the 3rd wave be followed by a revers wave? G. To infer what will happen, best way is to consider causes that gave rise to the 3rd wave and if they will continue and strengthen, weaken, or be replaced by new forces promoting democratization * Five major causes of Third Wave 1. Legitimacy problems faced by authoritarian regimes a. Did not have neither political nor “performance” (economic) legitimacy in a world increasingly desiring democratic values 2. Global economic growth of the ‘60’s which raised standards of living and middle class size in many countries 3. Shift in Catholic Church doctrines in the ‘60’s to strong opposition of authoritarianism 4. Changes in policies of external actors (European Community, USA, USSR) 5. “Snowballing effect” (earlier transitions served as models for other democratization efforts) * Historical correlation between Western Christianity and democracy Obstacles to Democratization: * Approach to assessing democracies prospects: examine obstacles and opportunities where it has and has not taken place * 90’s – 100

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