Johannes Gerschewski, Wolfgang Merkel | 2019

Democratic Transformation after the Second World War

in: Kollmorgen, Raj/Merkel, Wolfgang/Wagener, Hans-Jürgen (Eds.): Oxford Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 280-292.

This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of why and how democratic transformations took place after the Second World War. The chapter is divided into three parts. First, it discusses the external and internal factors that have led to the end of autocratic regimes. It emphasizes the role of external democracy promotion as well as prior experience with democracy and structural characteristics of the pre-existing autocratic regime. Second, it analyses the institutionalization phase, distinguishing between the relevant actors, procedures, and institutions. Third, it discusses the consolidation phase and differentiates between constitutional consolidation, representative consolidation, behavioural consolidation, and the consolidation of civil society. The chapter illustrates the reasoning with the three paradigmatic cases of postwar Germany, Italy, and Japan.

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