Diffusion is no Illusion: Neighbor Emulation in the Third Wave of Democracy
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This article develops and tests a specific model of the role of diffusion as a determinant of the magnitude and direction of regime change, using a database covering the world from 1972 to 1996. The authors find that countries tend to change their regimes to match the average degree of democracy or nondemocracy found among their contiguous neighbors and that countries in the U.S. sphere of influence tended to become more democratic in the period examined. They also confirm that countries tend to follow the direction in which the majority of other countries in the world are moving. Their model builds on several findings in the diffusion literature but adds methodological improvements and includes more extensive controls for other variables that have been found to affect regime change—including levels of development, presidentialism, and regional differences—offering further support for some and challenging other findings of the regime change literature.
CitationBrinks, Daniel M. and Michael Coppedge. “Diffusion is no Illusion: Neighbor Emulation in the Third Wave of Democracy.” Comparative Political Studies, Vol.39 (4): 463-489 (2006).
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