In his highly influential book the third wave

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In his highly influential book The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late 20 th Century (1991) American political scientist Samuel P. Huntington suggested that historically there were three major periods of transition from various forms of authoritarian rule to democracy worldwide. He calls them waves of democratization (see Table 2. 2). In between these waves there were significant shifts back to authoritarianism in some of the newly democratized countries ( reverse waves ). The first wave had its roots in the American and French revolutions. The actual emergence of national democratic institutions, however, is a 19 th century phenomenon. In most countries during that century democratic institutions developed gradually. <...> [O]ne can say that the United States began the first wave <...> roughly about 1828 <...> [when] universal manhood suffrage boosted to well over 50% the pro- portion of white males actually voting in the 1828 presidential elec- tions. In the following decades other countries gradually expanded the suffrage, reduced plural voting, introduced the secret ballot, and established the responsibility of prime ministers and cabinets to par- liaments. <...> The first reverse wave began in 1922 with the March on Rome and Mussolini’s easy disposal of Italy’s fragile and rather corrupt de- mocracy. <...> The dominant political development of the 1920s and 1930s was the shift away from democracy and either the return to tra- ditional forms of authoritarian rule or the introduction of new mass- based, more brutal and pervasive forms of totalitarianism. <...> These regime changes reflected the rise of communist, fascist, and militaris- tic ideologies.
39 Political Regimes <...> Starting in World War II a second, short wave of democratiza- tion occurred. Allied occupation promoted inauguration of democratic institutions in West Germany, Italy, Austria, Japan, and Korea. <...> In the late 1940s and early 1950s Turkey and Greece moved towards de- mocracy. In Latin America Uruguay, <...> Brazil and Costa Rica shifted to democracy in the 1940s. <...> Meanwhile, the beginning of the end of Western colonial rule produced a number of new states [and] <...> in a few new states – India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Israel – demo- cratic institutions were sustained for a decade or more. <...> By the early 1960s the second wave of democratization had exhausted itself <...> and regime transitions were taking on a heavily authoritarian cast. The change was <...> dramatic in Latin America, <...> [but] the decolonization of Africa led to the largest multiplication in independent authoritarian governments in history. The global swing away from democracy in the 1960s and early 1970s was impressive: in 1962, by one count, 13 governments in the world were the product of coups d’etat; by 1975, 38 were. <...> This wave of transitions away from democracy [i. e., second reverse wave] was even more striking because it involved several countries, such as Chile, Uruguay („the Switzer- land of South America’), India, and the Philippines, that had sustained democratic regimes for a quarter century or more.

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