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On the Third Wave of Democratization: A Synthesis and Evaluation of Recent Theory and Research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2011

Doh Chull Shin
Professor of Political Studies at Sangamon State University and research associate at its Center for Public Affairs


This article synthesizes significant findings of theoretical and empirical research on the third wave of democratization. It addresses a number of central questions. What changes have been taking place in the study of democracy and democratization over the past two decades? How have the concepts of democracy and democratization been redefined for a new generation of scholars oriented to action and advice? What developments in the measurement of the two concepts have been stimulated by the quickening pace of democratization? What has been learned about the dynamics of democratization itself? What mixes of democratic institutions and rules offer the “best” prospect for democratic consolidation? What kinds of strategies and tactics have been prescribed for encouraging democratic reforms in those countries that remain nondemocratic? What are the prospects for the third wave of democratization?

Review Article
World Politics , Volume 47 , Issue 1 , October 1994 , pp. 135 - 170
Copyright © Trustees of Princeton University 1994

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