Which conditions are conducive and which are obstructive to democracies has been studied by the social sciences for some time. Against the background of growing international connectivity in the economic, political and social spheres, the question of the conditions under which democratic forms of government spread must be asked anew. This book undertakes a systematic comparison of domestic and international influences for the first time.
While the author uses the structural perspective to analyze influences on the level of democracy in states using quantitative methods, she employs the actor perspective to examine processes of democratic change in four South American states: Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Paraguay. The results are complementary and show an increasing weight shift in favor of external factors of influence: above all, diffusion mechanisms and involvement in international organizations favor democracy. Moreover, several components of the national modernization process that promotes democracy are reproduced at the international level.