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SPP 444

Author: Richard Rose
Description: This paper explains the difference between democratic and undemocratic states. It is not only about whether there are elections: it is about whether or not it there is the rule of law. When both conditions are met, elections are free and fair and the government is accountable to the electorate. When laws can be bent or broken, unfair elections represent the will of governors more than that of the governed. Less than one-third of the political systems in the world today are democratic states. Some are incompletely democratic because they hold elections without the rule of law; some are completely undemocratic, lacking both free elections and the rule of law; and in a few states the law controls governors but elections are not held. To understand the process of democratization, we need to understand the changes that must occur to produce a change from an undemocratic to a democratic state.

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