DEMOCRACY HAS EXPANDED, BUT IF USA SUPPORT FOR IT WAIVERS THERE WILL BE A GLOBAL SLIDE INTO AUTHORITARIANISM
WE MUST FOCUS ON CONSOLIDATING DEMOCRACY AS WE FACE A POSSIBLE REVERSE WAVE OF ANTIDEMOCRATIZATION
Larry Diamond, Hoover Inst, Stanford Univ., 1999; DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY: TOWARD CONSOLIDATION // ACS P 261
As the previous chapters have shown, the third wave of democratization has drawn to a halt, and the key challenge in the coming years will be to prevent a third reverse wave of democratic breakdowns. That is why democratic consolidation forms the central concern of this book
Butwhat about the longer term? Will there be a fourth wave of democratization? If so, when and why?
AS WE PREVENT AUTHORITARIAN BACKSLIDING NOW, WE ENABLE A FUTURE WAVE OF DEMOCRATIZATION
Larry Diamond, Hoover Inst, Stanford Univ., 1999; DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY: TOWARD CONSOLIDATION // ACS P. 278
As democracy -- indeed, liberal democracy-takes root in many parts of the world where it was scarcely present before, its universality will be affirmed, and the specter of a clash of civilizations will be laid to rest. Pressure will grow on the world's remaining dictatorships, and resources and moral inspiration will flow to the movements, thinkers, parties, and politicians that are seeking democratic change. No doubt, many of them will fail. But within a generation, enough of them will succeed to generate a fourth wave of global democratization and a spread of democracy throughout the world that few liberals would have dared imagine in 1974, when the third wave began.
FOCUSING ON DEMOCRACY PROMOTION NOW CAN HELP AVOID A WAVE OF BACKSLIDING INTO AUTHORITARIANISM
Larry Diamond, Hoover Inst, Stanford Univ., 1999; DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY: TOWARD CONSOLIDATION // acs P. 22
The tentative conclusion of this book is that the third wave of expansion in electoral democracies is drawing to a close. The best that can be realistically hoped for in the next decade is the consolidation of many of the fifty or so electoral democracies that remain in a twilight zone of persistence without legitimation and institutionalization. Meeting that challenge (which forms the central concern of this book) would represent a global transformation no less profound than the wave of democratic transitions of the past two decades. Such a transformation, I argue, would preempt the reverse wave, which history and theory both predict is otherwise likely to occur in the coming years.
THE LAST WAVE OF DEMOCRATIZATION HAS ENDED AND WE MUST AVOID A BACKSLIDING
Larry Diamond, Hoover Inst, Stanford Univ., 1999; DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY: TOWARD CONSOLIDATION //acs P. 60
With the proportion of electoral democracies now more or less stagnating; with many prominent third-wave democracies deteriorating in their actual democratic performance; with human rights abuses persistent or increasing in even longstanding Third World democracies; with a significant gap between the electoral form and liberal substance of democracy; and with many of the world's most powerful and influential authoritarian states (China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia) showing little or no prospect of democratization in the near term, the question arises: Is the third wave over?
In two senses, the evidence in the affirmative appears to be mounting. The rate of increase in the number of electoral democracies in the world has steadily declined from 1991 until 1997, when it halted. While some countries might complete incremental and fitful transitions to electoral democracy in the next few years (Mexico) or return to democratic status (Peru), there is not an obvious cluster of candidates to continue to feed a wave of transitions.
A REVERSE WAVE OF ANTI-DEMOCRATIZATION THREATENS AT THIS POINT
Larry Diamond, Hoover Inst, Stanford Univ., 1999; DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY:
TOWARD CONSOLIDATION // acs P. 61
When overall expansion in the number of democracies halts for a sustained period (say, five to ten years), it seems reasonable to conclude that a democratic wave has come to an end. At least, this marks the end of a shortwave of democratization. The second wave of democratization lasted about two decades. The third wave appears to have lasted not much longer. Does this mean that a third reverse wave of democracy is inevitable? This more dramatic change is not yet apparent and may well be avoidable. It is theoretically possible for a wave of democratic expansion to be followed not by a reverse wave but by a period of stagnation or stability, in which the overall number of democracies in the world neither increases nor decreases significantly for some time and in which gains for democracy are more or less offset by losses. It is precisely such a period of stasis we seem to have entered.
DEMOCRACY CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE, EVERYWHERE, AND CAN CONTINUE ITS DEVELOPMENT -IT IS NOT AN END STATE
Larry Diamond, Hoover Inst, Stanford Univ., 1999; DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY: TOWARD CONSOLIDATION // acs P. 18
It is important, then, not to take the existence of democracy, even liberal democracy, as cause for selfcongratulation. Democracy should be viewed as a developmental phenomenon. Even when a country is above the threshold of electoral (or even liberal) democracy, democratic institutions can be improved and, deepened or may need to be consolidated; political competition can be made fairer and more open; participation can become more inclusive and vigorous; citizens' knowledge, resources, and competence can grow; elected (and appointed) officials can be made more responsive and accountable; civil liberties can be better protected; and the rule of law can become more efficient and secure. Viewed in this way, continued democratic development is a challenge for all countries, including the United States; all democracies, new and established, can become more democratic.