I am grateful to Catherine Boone, Valerie Bunce, Terrence Chapman, Larry Diamond, Thad Dunning, Marc Morjé Howard, Stathis Kalyvas, Steven Levitsky, Staffan Lindberg, Matthew Longo, Eric McDaniel, Patrick McDonald, Philip Roessler, Andreas Schedler, Benjamin Smith, Elisabeth Jean Wood, and three anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this article. I also thank Rachel Sternfeld, for research assistance, Barbara Geddes, for sharing her original dataset on authoritarian breakdown, and the staff of Freedom House, for providing early lists of electoral democracies. Previous versions of this article were presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, the Junior Faculty Workshop at the University of Texas, and the Comparative Politics Workshop at Yale University.
Portents of Pluralism: How Hybrid Regimes Affect Democratic Transitions
Version of Record online: 23 JUN 2009
©2009, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 53, Issue 3, pages 515–532, July 2009
How to Cite
Brownlee, J. (2009), Portents of Pluralism: How Hybrid Regimes Affect Democratic Transitions. American Journal of Political Science, 53: 515–532. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2009.00384.x
- Issue online: 23 JUN 2009
- Version of Record online: 23 JUN 2009
The original studies of “competitive authoritarianism” and “hegemonic authoritarianism” inspected the occurrence of hybrid regimes during the 1990s but stopped short of testing their propensity for democratic change. This article assesses the causal effects of hybrid regimes, and the post–cold war period itself, on regime breakdown and democratization. Using a dataset of 158 regimes from 1975 to 2004, and a discrete measure for transitions to electoral democracy, I find that competitive authoritarian regimes are not especially prone to losing power but are significantly more likely to be followed by electoral democracy: vigorous electoral contestation does not independently subvert authoritarianism, yet it bodes well for democratic prospects once incumbents are overthrown.