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Measuring Democratic Consolidation
Studies in Comparative and International Development (2001)
  • Andreas Schedler
The concept of democratic consolidation has become a pivotal concept in comparative politics. In its most widespread acceptation, a "consolidated" democracy is one that is unlikely to break down. For all its apparent thinness and simplicity, this conceptualization poses considerable problems of operationalization and measurement. As the article argues, scholars have been relying on three basic strategies to assess the survival prospects of democratic regimes. They have been studying either behavioral, attitudinal, or structural foundations of democratic consolidation. This article briefly examines those approaches that rely on different kinds of empirical evidence as well as on different causal assumptions. On the basis of a quick revision of recent Latin American experiences, it concludes that in common judgments about democratic consolidation, behavioral evidence seems to trump both attitudinal and structural data.
  • democratic consolidation,
  • measurement,
  • causal proximity
Publication Date
Spring 2001
Citation Information
Andreas Schedler. "Measuring Democratic Consolidation" Studies in Comparative and International Development Vol. 36 Iss. 1 (2001)
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