Transitional Political Systems - Research Article from Governments of the World

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The Waves of Democratization

Not only is democracy a concept born in Western political thought, for a long time it has also been a Western practice confined to Western political systems. In a broad and convincing comparative-historical perspective Samuel P. Huntington (1991) has argued that the world of political systems has gone through three specific waves of democratization and two reverse waves. The first long wave of democratization (1828–1926) appeared on both sides of the Atlantic and involved thirty-three countries. It was fundamentally the product of three factors: (1) the recognition of religious and political dissent; (2) the gradual expansion of suffrage and the organization of associations; (3) the promotion and protection of civil and political rights. It was enhanced by the possibility of absorbing all these changes over a rather long period of time and by a significant degree of socioeconomic growth. The first reverse wave (1922–1942) reduced the number...

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This section contains 2,665 words
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Transitional Political Systems from Governments of the World. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.