The Politics of Regime Transitions

The Politics of Regime Transitions

The Politics of Regime Transitions

The Politics of Regime Transitions

Synopsis

Taking examples from Argentina, Haiti, Iran, South Korea, Ukraine, and other countries for a total of 40, Francisco (political science, U. of Kansas) traces political transformation from its roots to its results. He analyses how regimes fail, how new ones arise, and what it takes to forge stability and democratic government. In a balance of theory and experience, he highlights the process from collapse to consolidation of power and such intermediate states as ethnic strife, economic disruption, nationalism, and fundamental religion.

Excerpt

For the better part of a decade I have followed the dynamic paths of forty regime transitions. This volume is my evaluation of political and economic reforms that occurred during these transitions. The book is organized along the temporal course of a regime transition. After an historical overview, we consider the collapse of the regime, the early transition, democratization and economic reform. Chapter 6 steps aside from the path of reforms in order to assess how international actors affect domestic transitions. Chapter 7 evaluates the consolidation of new regimes. Chapter 8 then tries to pull together several themes of the book and to solve persisting puzzles, like the prevalence of semi-presidential government choices in the regime transitions. My objective is to allow the events in the forty sample countries to show how applicable theories relate to regime transitions.

The sample is diverse. I make no claim of expertise for most of the countries that comprise the sample. In the course of my research, however, I have enjoyed the generous help of my colleagues in comparative politics to answer my mundane questions about countries that they know well: Lorraine Bayard de Volo, Paul D'Anieri, Deborah Gerner, Carl Landé, Jaroslaw Piekalkiewicz, Gary Reich, and O. Fiona Yap. A sample of forty countries in several regions of the world brings inherent challenges for consistent accuracy. I bear responsibility for errors in the volume.

Vital support of all kinds during this project came from my wife Debby and our son Christopher. I thank both for their willingness to help and to endure the inattention that necessarily accompanies a project of this sort. The book is dedicated to my mother, who with her love and her books enabled me to pursue the path I chose in life and work. I also thank Richard L. Merritt of the University of Illinois for directing my education -- in graduate school and beyond.

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