Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-02-09
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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This book develops a framework for analyzing the creation and consolidation of democracy. Different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate political power and resources. Thus democracy is preferred by the majority of citizens, but opposed by elites. Dictatorship nevertheless is not stable when citizens can threaten social disorder and revolution. In response, when the costs of repression are sufficiently high and promises of concessions are not credible, elites may be forced to create democracy. By democratizing, elites credibly transfer political power to the citizens, ensuring social stability. Democracy consolidates when elites do not have strong incentives to overthrow it. These processes depend on the strength of civil society, the structure of political institutions, the nature of political and economic crises, the level of economic inequality, the structure of the economy, and the form and extent of globalization.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Questions and Answers
Paths of Political Developmentp. 1
Britainp. 2
Argentinap. 5
Singaporep. 8
South Africap. 10
The Agendap. 14
Our Argumentp. 15
Democracy versus Nondemocracyp. 16
Building Blocks of Our Approachp. 19
Toward Our Basic Storyp. 22
Our Theory of Democratizationp. 23
Democratic Consolidationp. 30
Determinants of Democracyp. 31
Political Identities and the Nature of Conflictp. 42
Democracy in a Picturep. 43
Overview of the Bookp. 46
What Do We Know about Democracy?p. 48
Measuring Democracyp. 48
Patterns of Democracyp. 51
Democracy, Inequality, and Redistributionp. 58
Crises and Democracyp. 65
Social Unrest and Democratizationp. 65
The Literaturep. 75
Our Contributionp. 80
Modeling Politics
Democratic Politicsp. 89
Introductionp. 89
Aggregating Individual Preferencesp. 91
Single-Peaked Preferences and the Median Voter Theoremp. 92
Our Workhorse Modelsp. 99
Democracy and Political Equalityp. 113
Conclusionp. 117
Nondemocratic Politicsp. 118
Introductionp. 118
Power and Constraints in Nondemocratic Politicsp. 120
Modeling Preferences and Constraints in Nondemocraciesp. 128
Commitment Problemsp. 133
A Simple Game of Promisesp. 144
A Dynamic Modelp. 151
Incentive-Compatible Promisesp. 161
Conclusionp. 171
The Creation and Consolidation of Democracy
Democratizationp. 173
Introductionp. 173
The Role of Political Institutionsp. 173
Preferences over Political Institutionsp. 176
Political Power and Institutionsp. 177
A Static Model of Democratizationp. 181
Democratization or Repression?p. 186
A Dynamic Model of Democratizationp. 193
Subgame Perfect Equilibriap. 201
Alternative Political Identitiesp. 203
Targeted Transfersp. 207
Power of the Elites in Democracyp. 207
Ideological Preferences over Regimesp. 211
Democratization in a Picturep. 214
Equilibrium Revolutionsp. 215
Conclusionp. 218
Coups and Consolidationp. 221
Introductionp. 221
Incentives for Coupsp. 224
A Static Model of Coupsp. 225
A Dynamic Model of the Creation and Consolidation of Democracyp. 231
Alternative Political Identitiesp. 246
Targeted Transfersp. 246
Power in Democracy and Coupsp. 247
Consolidation in a Picturep. 249
Defensive Coupsp. 251
Conclusionp. 253
Putting the Models to Work
The Role of the Middle Classp. 255
Introductionp. 255
The Three-Class Modelp. 259
Emergence of Partial Democracyp. 262
From Partial to Full Democracyp. 267
Repression: The Middle Class as a Bufferp. 273
Repression: Softliners versus Hardlinersp. 278
The Role of the Middle Class in Consolidating Democracyp. 283
Conclusionp. 285
Economic Structure and Democracyp. 287
Introductionp. 287
Economic Structure and Income Distributionp. 290
Political Conflictp. 292
Capital, Land, and the Transition to Democracyp. 293
Costs of Coup on Capital and Landp. 296
Capital, Land, and the Burden of Democracyp. 300
Conflict between Landowners and Industrialistsp. 307
Industrialists, Landowners, and Democracy in Practicep. 312
Economic Institutionsp. 313
Human Capitalp. 316
Conjectures about Political Developmentp. 317
Conclusionp. 319
Globalization and Democracyp. 321
Introductionp. 321
A Model of an Open Economyp. 325
Political Conflict - Democratic Consolidationp. 331
Political Conflict - Transition to Democracyp. 334
Financial Integrationp. 338
Increased Political Integrationp. 343
Alternative Assumptions about the Nature of International Tradep. 344
Conclusionp. 347
Conclusions and the Future of Democracy
Conclusions and the Future of Democracyp. 349
Paths of Political Development Revisitedp. 349
Extensions and Areas for Future Researchp. 355
The Future of Democracyp. 358
Appendix to Chapter 4: The Distribution of Power in Democracyp. 361
Introductionp. 361
Probabilistic Voting Modelsp. 361
Lobbyingp. 367
Partisan Politics and Political Capturep. 373
Bibliographyp. 381
Indexp. 401
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