The global trend that Samuel P. Huntington has dubbed the "third wave" of democratization has seen more than 60 countries experience democratic transitions since 1974. While these countries have succeeded in bringing down authoritarian regimes and replacing them with freely elected governments, few of them can as yet be considered stable democracies.
"A useful compilation popularizing the work of an influential journal... The Journal of Democracy is an effective tribune for mainstream U.S. thinking on these issues."—Political Studies
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"Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy Revisited is must reading for anyone who considers him- or herself a political economist, and it should also appeal to those probing the uncertainties of contemporary democratization."—Philippe C. Schmitter, Stanford University.
Is liberal democracy the only suitable type of government for a strong, modern society? A quarter-century ago, the answer seemed to be a clear yes. But today the picture is much cloudier.
As the Journal of Democracy celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary, there are serious reasons to worry about the state of democracy.
Regime change will always be a feature of political life, but we are unlikely to see again transitions to democracy on the scale of the “third wave.”
Four leading experts on democracy discuss the relevance of the “transition paradigm” in light of the “Arab Spring” and other developments in the world today.