Working Papers

"Democratic Consolidation in Post-Transitional Settings: Notion, Process, and Facilitating Conditions"

Author
J. Samuel Valenzuela
Abstract

Abstract

While a growing literature addresses the difficulties of achieving democratic consolidation, there has often been little clarity over the meaning of this notion, and over the process by which it is achieved. Therefore, building on a minimal formal definition of democracy, this paper presents a delimited conception of democratic consolidation and of the process for reaching it. It also discusses five broad conditions that facilitate (or hinder) consolidation. These have to do with the modalities through which the transitions to democratic governments took place, the influence of historical memories of alternative regimes, the moderation of political conflict, the management of social conflict, and the subordination of the military to the democratic government.

Resumen

Aunque un creciente número de escritos se refieren a las dificultades de lograr la consolidación de la democracia, a menudo ha faltado claridad respecto tanto a lo que ello significa como al proceso mediante el cual se alcanzaría. Por esto, partiendo de una definición mínima y formal de la democracia, se presenta aquí una concepción delimitada de la consolidación y del proceso que conduce a ella. Se discuten además cinco grandes condicionantes que la facilitarían (o impedirían). Éstas se refieren a las modalidades de la transición hacia gobiernos democráticos, al impacto de la memoria histórica de regímenes alternativos, a la moderación del conflicto político, al encauzamiento del conflicto social, y a la subordinación militar al gobierno democrático.

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