Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Modernization: Theories and Facts

  • Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi (a1) (a2)
Abstract

What makes political regimes rise, endure, and fall? The main question is whether the observed close relation between levels of economic development and the incidence of democratic regimes is due to democracies being more likely to emerge or only more likely to survive in the more developed countries. We answer this question using data concerning 135 countries that existed at any time between 1950 and 1990. We find that the level of economic development does not affect the probability of transitions to democracy but that affluence does make democratic regimes more stable. The relation between affluence and democratic stability is monotonic, and the breakdown of democracies at middle levels of development is a phenomenon peculiar to the Southern Cone of Latin America. These patterns also appear to have been true of the earlier period, but dictatorships are more likely to survive in wealthy countries that became independent only after 1950. We conclude that modernization need not generate democracy but democracies survive in countries that are modern.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Samuel P. Huntington and Joan M. Nelson , No Easy Choice: Political Participation in Developing Countries (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976) 19

Adam Przeworski , Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

World Politics
  • ISSN: 0043-8871
  • EISSN: 1086-3338
  • URL: /core/journals/world-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score