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SPP 314

Author: Richard Rose and Doh Chull Shin
Description: Elections are not the only quality of democracy; a complete democracy also requires the rule of law; institutions of civil society; and the accountability of governors to the governed. In the first wave of democratization, the three latter characteristics were often in place before free competitive elections with universal suffrage were introduced. The third wave of democratization has started backwards; competitive elections have been introduced in societies where other qualities of democracy are missing. An analysis of Russia, the Czech Republic and Korea, drawing on nationwide opinion surveys, shows how citizens evaluate such new regimes. Incomplete democracies can develop in three different ways: completing democratization; turning to an undemocratic alternative; or falling into a low-level equilibrium trap in which the inadequacies of elites are matched by low popular demands. The consequences of incomplete democracy include an incapacity to deliver social welfare benefits fairly and effectively, "idiotization" (that is, the rejection of civic participation), but also freedom from a weak state.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland