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SPP 393

Author: Dr. Neil Munro
Description: The legacy approach, which begins with a characterization of the previous undemocratic regime, has become prevalent in contemporary studies of democratization. It does not exclude socioeconomic and international influences nor contingent political action, but puts them in a time dimension. At the beginning of regime change, the mode of transition and the choice of new institutions are influenced by the legacy of the prior regime. Linz's (1975) classic typology of undemocratic regimes identifies four underlying dimensions to classify prior regime legacies: the extent of political pluralism, the form of ideology, the degree of mobilization and the type of leadership. This framework is insufficient for Russia and the Republic of Korea (Korea), because it downplays political-economic legacies. The contrast between the command economy and Korea's export-oriented developmental state emphasizes the importance of international market standards and private property in creating the material basis for a civil society, and the debilitating legacy of Soviet communism for attempts to establish the rule of law. The conclusion argues that feedback mechanisms and inertia, subject to punctuation by events, ensure different dynamics for contrasting legacies.

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