The literature on democratic transitions and consolidations is struggling to properly understand a growing number of regimes that fail to conform to existing typologies. These regimes lie within a grey zone between the black and white dichotomy of authoritarianism and democracy. How should these be categorised? Is it correct to refer to regimes that exhibit some democratic characteristics as forms of democracy? Here it is argued that a democracy can only exist when all its required elements are present. Most approaches within transitology miscategorise these mixed regimes by relying upon a flawed understanding of democracy. In analysing a number of important works, it is argued that the problem is largely definitional. In concluding, a solution to these shortcomings is forwarded. As these new regime types are fast populating the globe it is important that they are categorised correctly.
Keywords: democracy; the third wave; transition theory; consolidation theory; semidemocracy; electoral democracy
The third wave of democratisation reached its apex in the early 1990s as the communist challenge collapsed and countries worldwide appeared to take up liberal perspectives on democracy (2). This was closely followed by another wave consisting of articles, books, conference papers and various other manuscripts all grappling with this serious challenge to prevailing understandings of democracy. The immediate response was characterised by an almost blind optimism with scholars becoming caught up in the historic events that suddenly appeared to leave democracy, 'without an enemy' (3) . John Mueller went so far as to suggest that, 'democracy can come about rather naturally, almost by default' (4). As Guillermo O'Donnell admits, in chastising himself and others, there was a strong teleological tendency throughout the literature (5) . It presumed the end point for these newly democratising countries would be regimes similar to the ones that populate the industrialised first world. However, it has become obvious that the defeat of open authoritarianism in many states did not equate to the victory of Western-style democracy. These heady days also challenged dominant modernisation discourses that prescribed a long list of preconditions to be fulfilled before democratisation could successfully occur. At its zenith, the third wave seemed to indicate that the delicate flower of democracy could appear in even the most arid and inhospitable terrain.
Once the initial euphoria had worn off, a second phase quickly emerged within the literature on democratic transitions, one that was far more critical. Here there was a self-correcting move away from approaches that either explicitly or implicitly contained teleological characteristics. On an empirical level there was an understanding that there was no guarantee that the regimes to emerge in third wave countries would be Western-style democracies. On a normative level there was no longer the assumption that new democracies must replicate existing models. Importantly, there also was a realisation that simply equating democracy with elections is insufficient. Such an understanding ignores other vital aspects of democracy and has a tendency to overlook the validity of the actual elections. These are, however, issues that we shall return to later. What is pertinent here is that, in developing a more nuanced approach to transitions, a significant amount of regimes were identified that fall within a grey zone between the black and white dichotomy of authoritarianism and democracy (6). These regimes pass some but not all of the definitional criteria for what constitutes a democracy. Collier and Levitsky, in their article 'Democracy with Adjectives', highlight the proliferation of terms to describe these regimes: 'psuedodemocracy', 'authoritarian democracy', 'electoral democracy', 'delegative democracy', 'semidemocracy' and 'virtual democracy' being some of the more prominent examples (7). What this plethora of expressions points towards is an attempt to comprehend these new regime types. By describing, labeling and examining these halfway houses, the hope is that the missing elements can be discovered and their difference from the liberal model of democracy explained.
The most recent part of the debate has recently emerged and is a reaction to the approaches described above to classify these regimes within transitions theory. The most forceful exposition of this argument has been Thomas Carothers' article, 'The End of the Transition Paradigm' (8). He argues that, 'it is increasingly clear that reality is no longer conforming to the [transitions] model. Many countries that policy makers and aid practitioners persist in calling "transitional" are not in transition to democracy and of the democratic transitions that are under way, more than a few are not following the model' (9). While initially persuasive, there are some definite flaws in his argument. Ghia Nodia notes that Carothers tends to quote the US Agency for International Development rather than academic sources (10). The negative results of this are twofold. First, he portrays a rather large and disparate body of work as one monolithic approach (11). The second problem follows on closely from the first; by not properly consulting the literature some of his criticisms are unfounded or out of date. The most obvious example is Carothers' attack on the transition paradigm for a belief that structural features will not be, 'major factors in either the onset or the outcome of the transition process' (12) . This overlooks much of the work which admits that while structural factors are not the only important element they still play a crucial role in determining the success of a transition. None of these problems, however, invalidate his underlying proposition: it is inappropriate to describe these regimes as being in transit to democracy. Using this argument as a starting point, this piece will ask the following question: how should we best understand regimes that fall in the grey zone between authoritarianism and democracy? More specifically, is it correct to refer to regimes that exhibit some democratic characteristics as forms of democracy? This pertains to the question of whether democracy should be understood in terms of gradations or in a dichotomous manner (13) . The first part of this paper will offer a definition of democracy that excludes the possibility for partial democracies. It is argued that a democracy can only exist when all its required elements are present. The second section will then expand on this understanding by critically examining some major attempts within the transitions literature to define and explain these new regimes types. In the third and final part, it will be suggested that the current inability to adequately comprehend these new regimes primarily stems from definitional problems. In conclusion, a different methodology for classifying these regimes shall be suggested.
One of the most surprising aspects of the literature on transitions is that there is a reasonably uniform understanding of what is meant by 'democracy'. Larry Diamond, though, finds quite the opposite--a distinct lack of consensus (14). He sees the more than 550 subtypes of democracy that have been proposed in various studies as a sign of disunity (15). These different subtypes, though, are mainly a result of attempts to define intermediate cases. The vast majority of these new subtypes all stem from a similar understanding of the base concept. Democracy is seen in procedural terms based on two seminal works (16). The starting point for most definitions is provided by Schumpeter in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy: 'the democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people's vote' (17). This is a good starting point but alone is insufficient as it does not include the civil and political liberties that give value to the process set out by Schumpeter. More satisfying is Robert Dahl's understanding of 'polyarchy', based on the twin dimensions of competition and participation (18). Dahl identifies eight institutional guarantees that are required for a democracy:
1. Freedom to form and join organizations
2. Freedom of expression
3. Right to vote
4. Eligibility for public office
5. Right of political leaders to compete for support
6. Alternative sources of information
7. Free and fair elections
8. Institutions for making government policies depend on votes and other expressions of preference (19)
Notice that this is considerably more expansive than simply equating elections with democracy, an approach correctly seen by Mainwaring et al as being subminimal (20). Dahl's theory includes the necessary civic and political liberties that give substance and meaning to the electoral process. Elections matter to democracy because, to a certain degree, they reflect the will of the demos. If the process is undermined by a lack of basic liberties, the will of the demos disappears. By adding this extra dimension, democracy--as it is understood here--is essentially liberal democracy. While most authors include civil and political liberties in their definition, few follow this through to its logical conclusion: regimes that significantly restrict or deny these liberties are not lesser forms of democracy but not democracies at all. Fareed Zakaria, in his provocative article 'The Rise of Illiberal Democracy', suggests, 'if a democracy does not preserve liberty and law, that it is a democracy is a small consolation" (21) . Rather, if a regime does not preserve basic levels of liberty and law it cannot be considered a democracy in the first place.
Dahl's approach almost completes our understanding of democracy, but a number of clarifications need to be made and definitional bookends added. A crucial element that is implicit in this definition needs to be made explicit: democracy requires a functioning state. As Linz and Stepan put it, 'democracy is a form of governance of a modern state. Thus, without a state, no modern democracy is possible' (22) . The electoral process requires a polity, and it is the state that defines who the demos is. In this regard, suffrage and the ability to run for office should be near universal for a regime to be considered democratic. (23) The state is also necessary because the rule of law it provides is vital in safeguarding the communicative and associational rights Dahl's polyarchy requires. Citizen security has been taken for granted or tacitly assumed in democratisation theory when, in fact, it is often highly uncertain in transitional countries (24). If there is a freedom of expression yet there exists no state or law to protect it, this liberty has an extremely provisional and uncertain nature. The last piece of the puzzle comes from the experiences of South and Central American countries where those elected could do little as all the real power lay with the military (25). From this, we cannot consider a regime democratic if non-elected actors impede or prevent the elected authorities from governing. Collier and Adcock note the significance of this proviso: 'the absence of effective power to rule does not merely make countries somewhat less democratic; it undermines the meaningfulness of the other defining attributes of democracy' (26).
The discussion has now reached some sort of conclusion on what elements constitute a democratic regime. Quickly summarised these are: a functioning state, rule of law, competition and participation through elections, civil and political liberties that give value to electoral processes and, finally, that those elected to govern have the ability to do so. It should be noted that this definition is similar to the understanding which is dominant within current transitions literature. Huntington, O'Donnell, Collier and Levitsky, and Mainwaring et al are some of the more prominent authors that explicitly include civil liberties in their definitions (27). This is also reflected in the work of Diamond, and Linz and Lipset:
Democracy denotes ... a system of government that meets three
essential conditions: meaningful and extensive competition among
individuals and groups (especially political parties) for all
effective positions of government power, at regular intervals and
excluding the use of force; a highly inclusive level of political
participation in the selection of leaders and policies, at least
through regular and fair elections, such that no major (adult)
social group is excluded; and a level of civil and political
liberties--freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to
form and join organizations--sufficient to ensure the integrity of
political competition and participation (28).
There is little point criticising the transitions literature for not conforming to a definition they do not accept in the first place. The argument made here is that much of the literature on transitions fails to be logically consistent when classifying intermediate regimes. If not all the criteria for democracy have been met, it is impossible for a regime to be a democracy. Democracy is thus an example of what Satori calls a 'bounded whole': a complex system defined by multiple attributes, all of which must be present (9). Andreas Schedler uses the apt metaphor of the chain which holds together only as long as each of its links remains unbroken (20). He tells us: 'partial compliance with democratic norms does not add up to partial democracy. Gross violation of any one condition invalidates the fulfilment of all others' (31).
THE NEW CHALLENGE TO TRANSITOLOGY (32)
During the 1980s and 1990s them appeared to be a huge boom in democracy as it seemingly spread across the globe. After Greece, Spain and Portugal commenced the third wave in the 1970s many countries in South and Central America followed. With the demise of communism, democracy ventured into Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Africa. The diffusion of democracy, though, was not nearly as broad or deep as first believed. Today a large proportion of third wave countries could not be described as democracies according to the definition just reached. In some countries, electoral processes are farcical, merely confirming the ruling elite's hold on power, while in other states, elections are real and uncertain but are undermined by a lack of basic liberties. What unites many of these states is the existence of some but not all of the elements found in democratic regimes. The mixed nature of these cases has posed a unique problem for categorisation in the way they do not conform to existing typologies. However, this has not stopped people from trying to label them. Now a number of important attempts to describe these grey zone regimes shall be examined. In doing so, we can determine the validity of the classifications given based on the definition of democracy given here and within the literature more generally.
A good place to start is with the work of one of the leading democratisation scholars, Larry Diamond (33). In classifying regimes, Diamond breaks them down into four main types: liberal democracy, electoral democracy, pseudodemocracy and authoritarian. His category of liberal democracy corresponds closely with the understanding we have reached (34). What is of interest are ins two midrange conceptions: electoral democracy and pseudodemocracy. The former tends more towards the democratic end of the scale; the latter leans towards authoritarianism. Diamond sees electoral democracies as regimes that resemble Schumpter's subminimal definition. He writes that: 'however concentrated state power may be in abusive executives and however brutal and rampant may be the human rights violations of states security forces (and their guerrilla nemeses), electoral competition is real and its outcome uncertain' (35). His second category, pseudodemocracy, is similar to other conceptions of 'facade democracy' and 'virtual democracy'. Elections held in these regimes are not fair, and their purpose is primarily to gain some fig leaf of international legitimacy to cover a form of authoritarianism. Describing these cases, Diamond tells us: 'elections themselves become increasingly hollow and uncompetitive, a thin disguise for the authoritarian hegemony of despots and ruling parties' (36). The distinction made between electoral democracy and pseudodemocracy is, however, a false one. In the former, elections lack the civil and political liberties required to make the process truly democratic while, in the latter, elections lose their meaning because they are generally administered in an unfair and fraudulent manner. The result in both cases is the same: elections are 'largely drained of democratic content' (37). Even though elections are the centrepiece of democracy, the mere process of having them is not enough. On this point Hermet reminds us that, 'it is easy to organize elections ... making them democratic is another matter' (38) . Elections need to be coupled with the other features of a democracy such as the rule of law and basic individual liberties. Given this, it is wrong to classify certain electoral regimes as lesser forms of democracy. Doing so implicitly conflates democracy with elections.
There is another important reason the existence of elections within a regime is insufficient for it to constitute a form of democracy. As much as transitions scholars are loath to admit, Carothers has a valid point in suggesting some form of teleology underlies most writings on the topic (39). There is no question that the earlier presumption that new democracies would conform to a path first tread by older ones has been discredited. In its place, though, lies a much more subtle variant. There is the feeling that elections, regardless of whether they are free or fair, will build institutions that eventually push the process towards a more truly democratic form. Van De Walle tells us that, 'the higher the number of elections--no matter how uncompetitive--the greater the likelihood of subsequent democratization' (40). Schedler, though, in his insightful analysis of elections in grey zone regimes finds this outcome to be less than the fait accompli many presume (41). Introducing elections can result in a variety of outcomes: progression, regression or stagnation. In a similar vain, Case, looking at the 'halfway house' regimes of Southeast Asia, finds electoral processes in fact impede democratic progress by keeping liberal forces trapped in a vicious circle. Case explains: 'it ["semidemocracy"] can synchronize a government which refuses to cede power with social demands for highly visible, if only occasional, participation in politics. Society's participatory impulses are atomized, then purged, leaving intransigent governments more efficiently in place' (42). Superficial electoral processes satisfy liberal appetites thereby postponing further reform. Admittedly, in some circumstances electoral regimes have slowly transformed into democracies, Mexico being the notable example, but it is not inevitable that this will happen (43). The work done by Case points towards an alternative situation where the institutions learnt are faulty and deficient but remain stable. Defining any regime that conducts elections as a form of democracy contains an underlying yet misplaced teleological dimension: the belief that the institutions learnt through any electoral processes will be democratic.
Following closely from this last point is another unhelpful presumption. In defining these intermediate cases, a set transitional path is implied. The very label 'transition' is in itself misleading given its unilateral implications' (44). Carothers strongly criticises this aspect, pointing out that deviations from the transition then consolidation sequence are exclusively defined in relation to the road from authoritarianism to democracy (45). Also, while most theorists are aware of situations where transitions have stalled, it isn't fully acknowledged that this intermediate location could be something more permanent. This can be seen in the title of Case's article 'Can the "Halfway House" Stand?'. By categorising a regime as a 'semidemocracy' it connotes a conditional, limited nature. The presumption that the current status is ultimately a temporary one and at some stage the regime will either graduate to full democracy or regress to authoritarianism is problematic. It is starting to become clearer that these halfway houses remain standing and will continue to do so for quite some time. To illustrate this point, let us return to the work of Larry Diamond. In the appendix of Developing Democracy, all countries are broken down into his four aforementioned subtypes based on freedom surveys carried out by Freedom House. These give a score from one to seven by averaging a country's political rights and civil liberties ratings (46). Countries with a score between 1.0-2.5 are considered 'free', between 3.0-5.5 are 'partly free' and those between 6-7 are 'not free'. At the end of 1997 Diamond identified 76 countries that fell in the grey zone (47). To produce an extremely limited comparison these countries' scores have been measured against their ratings from five years earlier, at the end of 1992, and five years later, at the end of 2002. Of the original 76 countries 60 remained in the grey zone for the full decade with only 14 countries at any stage receiving a score of 2.5 or lower (48) . Furthermore, in the past five years, only 10 countries or 13% graduated to the class of liberal democracy (49). Of those remaining, the freedom scores of 46 countries or 60% either remained the same or worsened (50) . While no claims are made about the breadth or depth of this brief comparison, what it does tentatively point towards is that these halfway houses could be more permanent fixtures on the international landscape than many presume. And if this is the case, they should be treated and defined as such.
Another very real problem with understanding any electoral regime within an umbrella conception of democracy is the role this form of governance has in conferring legitimacy in international society. The legitimacy windfall is double-edged with both existing democracies and transitional regimes being beneficiaries. At present, being considered democratic is an important part of states being fully accepted as members of the international community. James Mayall notes that democratic values have become, 'a kind of ideological equivalent to the coin of the realm' (51). As such, many regimes that would not otherwise engage in democratic processes now conduct forms of elections. These regimes, though, attempt to provide only the minimum amount of democratic trimmings required to gain the acceptance of the international community. The problem with taking an overly broad definition of democracy that includes all electoral regimes is that it bestows some of the legitimacy these countries crave. Not only does this debase the electoral component of democracy, when used in such a fraudulent manner, but it also takes away much of the desire or impetus for these regimes to reform further. Examples of this can probably best be seen in Africa. While a number of the regimes that started on the transitional path in the early 1990s have become full democracies, the vast majority has instead used its introduction as a tool to retain power and international support. Richard Joseph has highlighted the illusory nature of these regimes referring to them as 'virtual democracies' in the sense they take on the symbols and appearance of democracy without the necessary form and substance (52). Unfortunately, the foreign aid backers, who pressured for the initial changes, have used a definition of democracy close to the narrow and incomplete Schumpeterian one. The result has been a variety of regimes jointly recognisable by the farcical nature in which they engage in elections. The leaders of these countries engage in a 'balancing act in which they impose enough repression to keep their opponents weak and maintain their own power while adhering to enough democratic formalities that they might just pass themselves off as democrats' (53). The foreign support received then strengthens the ruling elite's power base, through both international acceptance and financial aid, which creates little reason to reform further. This situation supports the argument made earlier that merely taking on certain democratic features will not necessarily cause democratisation to fully occur. It should be noted, though, that it is not only these states that benefit from being included in the democratic family (54). When broadened to include transitional regimes, the number of democratic states in the international sphere swells considerably. This artificial inflation confers greater power to democracy as an ideological discourse and to those countries that promote and represent it as a belief system. Over time, there is the potential that including so many incomplete democracies will undermine the ideological strength of democracy as people in these countries become disaffected with its ideals. In the short to medium term, though, boosting the ranks of democracy helps core Western countries maintain their hegemonic positions with international society by being the standard-bearers of this 'legitimate' regime type. Being overly generous in bequeathing the title of democracy to regimes has significant ramifications on the distribution of legitimacy in the international sphere. For this reason it is important that a strict definition of democracy must be reached and adhered to.
So far, what has been argued is that defining grey zone regimes as forms of democracy is both inaccurate and dangerous. An interesting challenge to this stance is Guillermo O'Donnell's 'delegative democracies'. (53) This variant tends to exist in a society where democratic institutions are weakly formed or essentially nonexistent. It is distinct from the representative version by a lack of horizontal accountability. In these regimes, the president becomes the embodiment of the nation's will and cannot be held in check by other institutions such as the judiciary or congress. The common examples given for this type have been Carlos Menem's Argentina and Alberto Fujimori's Peru. Menem's election slogan 'follow me' sums up nicely the predominant role of the president in a delegative democracy. This situation definitely muddies the definitional waters. Is O'Donnell's delegative variant really a form democracy? While its debased nature makes it tempting to say no, the author is right in asserting that these cases are indeed democracies as they largely meet both Dahl's definitional criteria and the wider understanding reached here. (56) The two main areas where they differ from representative
democracies--horizontal accountability and institutionalisation--while desirable are not elements required for a democracy to exist. Most likely, delegative democratic regimes will be unstable and short-lived, but issues about the quality of a democracy differ from ascertaining its existence in the first place. One caveat should, however, be given. The two examples of Argentina and Peru would not qualify since civil and political liberties were not properly upheld by these regimes. In theory, though, O'Donnell's delegative democracy is a valid, though undesirable, form of democracy.
The final stop on our discussion is a piece by Mainwaring et al that attempts to classify the regimes of Latin America from 1945-99. (57) In looking at definitional issues they correctly argue that a dichotomous breakdown is insufficient. It could cause cases that are neither clear cut examples of authoritarianism nor democracy being forced into ill-fitting categories: 'a dichotomy is too parsimonious; it loses too much information about regimes ... a dichotomy requires very sharp distinctions among regimes when the reality may not justify them' (58). Alternatively, a continuous measure is also inappropriate. There is definite value in having a clear cutoff point. At some stage a stand must be taken about what is democratic and what is nondemocratic (59) . Mainwaring et al take an alternate route in attempting to resolve the dilemma by adding a third, intermediate category that gives a needed depth while still making the process of classification worthwhile and manageable. A problem arises from the authors labeling and defining this new category as 'semi-democracy' (60) . In essence this is only a 'semi-solution' for three main reasons. First is the argument that has already been made here: it is incorrect to define regimes that do not meet all the definitional criteria as forms of democracy. The second problem is that this approach repeats the problem of a dichotomous division on a smaller scale. Regimes of the 'competitive authoritarianism' variety that Levitsky and Way describe, which might have a few minor similarities to democracy, will be placed in an inappropriate category (61). Third, using a spectrum of 'authoritarianism--seimdemocracy--democracy' suffers from the teleological problems highlighted earlier. A transitional path is identified that allows only for |advancement or reversion. So, while the writers recognise the problem, they fail to successfully overcome it.
What unites all these attempts to understand grey zone regimes is an inability to escape the 'elections = democracy' mindset. This results in all manner of regimes being classified as forms of democracy, but as one commentator reminds us, 'the idea of democracy has become so closely identified with elections that we are in danger of forgetting that the modern history of representative elections is a tale of authoritarian manipulations as much as it is a saga of democratic triumphs' (62) Now, in concluding, a suggestion about how to conceive of these regimes that is logically consistent with our definition of democracy shall be made.
REDEFINING THE GREY AREA: HYBRID REGIMES
Until now, this discussion has been largely negative; criticising other attempts to classify grey zone regimes while failing to provide an alternative. To rectify this, a solution will be offered. Before doing so, the fundamental argument of this piece needs to be reiterated: it is both incorrect and unhelpful to describe regimes that do not fulfill the definition for democracy as partial or incomplete forms of democracy. These are not democracies and should not be termed as such, even if they are prefaced with derogatory terms like 'virtual', 'facade', 'pseudo' etc. Furthermore, a considerable conceptual problem has been confusion over what various terms entail. For example, the phrase 'semidemocracy' is used by different authors to mean different things. Mainwaring et al use it in quite an expansive sense in comparison to the more limited nature with winch Diamond, Linz and Lipset understand it. (63) These two accounts differ from how Case uses 'semidemocracy' to describe regimes in Southeast Asia that are sometimes instead referred to as 'soft authoritarian' (64). Rather, as Sartori puts it, 'different things should have different names' (65). The resolution proposed here is to place these regimes in a much broader category of 'hybrid regime'. (66) Hybrid, along with authoritarian and democratic, can be seen as the primary subtypes of the broader category of 'regime type'. (67) This approach has a number of significant advantages. First, by not using 'democracy', it resolves possible teleological pitfalls and removes most normative implications. In doing so, it successfully highlights the mixed nature of a regime without making presumptions about its stability or permanence. The word 'hybrid' indicates that part of its heritage or form is democratic. Unlike current terms such as 'pseudodemocracy', which contain an implicit normative judgement, 'hybrid' implies difference and nothing more. Second, in maintaining a strict understanding of what democracy is and is not, the temptation of equating it (explicitly or implicitly) with elections is avoided. Democracy is reserved to describe a certain regime type where elections take place within a democratic context: a functioning state, the rule of law and basic liberties all exist. Stopping the artificial inflation of the number of democracies in international society has important ramifications. It prevents countries from using democratic discourses as a tool to gain aid and maintain domestic power. It also limits the amount of legitimacy and ideological strength current core countries gain from the ascendancy of democracy within international society. Third, this approach lessens confusion and makes conceptualisation easier; all three categories are seen as regime subtypes. Each type can then be broken down further. Hybrid regime, as an umbrella concept, can be easily expanded into a number of different subtypes. We can expect all hybrid regimes to have some form of elections. (68) What separates the different types is the nature of these electoral processes. It is from this element that a number of hybrid regime subtypes can be ascertained. One could be termed an 'uncompetitive electoral regime'. In such a system, elections do little more than rectify existing power arrangements. Fraud and/or coercion usually make sure the required results emerge. Most of these regimes will be illiberal though the two are not a necessary pair. Another main subtype is an 'illiberal competitive electoral regime'. Elections in this scenario are real and the outcomes are uncertain. What stops these states from being democratic is that the electoral process is undermined by basic liberties either being absent or not protected. Without basic associational and communicative rights it is extremely difficult for the real will of the demos to emerge. While other hybrid regimes can exist, we can expect these to be the two most common subtypes.
What can be said with reasonable confidence is that the hybrid regimes that have emerged following the end of the third wave of democratisation are here to stay. Despite considerable disparities, what unites these regimes is the incomplete nature in which they have taken up democratic forms. The purpose of this paper has not been to interrogate how democracy has become such an important legitimating factor within international society, nor has it been to examine the process of dysfunctional homogenisation that has resulted in so many states adopting the minimum amount of democratic features required to be considered legitimate in the international community. This piece's aims were much more modest. What has been shown is the current inability of transitology to deal with these hybrid regimes that are not following the presumed path to Western-style democracy. Viewing them from the 'democracy = elections' mindset obscures the real nature of these entities. The impact of this has more than just academic ramifications. It also shapes the way vital aid is administered to countries and further strengthens the hegemonic position of the Western core within international society. Only by removing these democratic blinkers can we progress towards a fuller understanding of what these regimes truly are. Proposing a new regime subtype of 'hybrid' is an attempt to recognise their difference and lay the foundations for further work which will help us better understand the nature of these new entities.
(1) I would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their comments. I am also grateful to Aaron Hemsley, Dan Bray and Leslie Holmes who all saw earlier drafts. Any and all mistakes are, of course, my own.
(2) Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
(3) Giovanni Sartori, 'Rethinking democracy: Bad Polity and Bad Politics', International Social Science Journal, 45, 1993, p. 437.
(4) "John Mueller, 'Democracy, Capitalism, and the End of Transition', in M. Mandelbaum (ed.), Postcommunism, New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1996, p. 117.
(5) Guillermo O'Donnell, 'Illusions About Consolidation' in L. Diamond, M. Plattner, Y. Chu and H. Tien (eds/, Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1997, pp. 52-53.
(6) This essay will use the understanding of 'authoritarianism' that is prevalent throughout transitions literature which largely equates it with 'nondemocracy'. See Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave, pp. 12-13.
(7) David Collier and Steven Levitsky, 'Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research', World Politics, 49(3), 1997.
(8) Thomas Carothers, 'The End of the Transition Paradigm', Journal of Democracy, 13(1), 2002.
(9) ibid., p. 6.
(10) Ghia Nodia, 'The Democratic Path', Journal of Democracy, 13(3), 2002.
(11) Guillermo O' Donnell, 'In Partial Defense of an Evanescent "Paradigm"', Journal of Democracy, 13(3), 2002.
(12) Thomas Carothers, 'The End of the Transition Paradigm', p. 8.
(13) David Collier and Richard Adcock, 'Democracy and Dichotomies: A Pragmatic Approach to Choices about Concepts', The Annual Review of Political Science, 2, 1999.
(14) Larry Diamond, Developing Democracy: Towards Consolidation, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1999, p. 8.
(15) This figure is taken by Diamond in Developing Democracy from a longer, unpublished version of David Collier and Steven Levitsky, 'Democracy with Adjectives'.
(16) Whether or not seeing it in purely procedural terms is the most appropriate way of understanding democracy is a question that beyond the scope of this piece. Since the focus is upon transitions literature and logical inconsistencies within it, a procedural approach will be adopted.
(17) Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 2nd ed., New York: Harper, 1947, p. 269
(18) Dahl's polyarchy is equivalent to liberal democracy. Dahl prefers to leave the term 'democracy' to describe the ideal type. See Robert Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971, p. 8.
(19) Ibid., p. 3.
(20) Scott Mainwaring, Daniel Brinks and Anibal Perez-Linan, 'Classifying Political Regimes in Latin America, 1945-1999', Studies in Comparative International Development, 36(1), 2001.
(21) Fareed Zakaria, 'The Rise of Illiberal Democracy', Foreign Affairs, 76(6), 1997, p. 15.
(22) Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1996, p. 17.
(23) Robert Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition.
(24) Lawrence Whitehead, Democratization: Theory and Experience, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002, ch. 7.
(25) See Terry Lynn Karl, 'The Hybrid Regimes of Central America', Journal of Democracy, 6(3), 1995.
(26) David Collier and Richard Adcock, 'Democracy and Dichotomies', p. 559.
(27) See Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave; Guillermo O'Donnell, 'Illusions About Consolidation'; David Collier and Steven Levitsky, 'Democracy with Adjectives' and Scott Mainwaring et al, 'Classifying Political Regimes in Latin America, 1945-1999'.
(28) Cited in Larry Diamond, 'Democracy in Latin America: Degrees, Illusions, and Directions for Consolidation', in T. Farer (ed), Beyond Sovereignty: Collectively Defending Democracy in the Americas, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1996, p. 55. Italics in orginal.
(29) Quoted in David Collier and Richard Adcock, 'Democracy and Dichotomies: A Pragmatic Approach to Choices about Concepts', p. 543.
(30) Andreas Schedler, 'The Menu of Manipulation', Journal of Democracy, 13(2), 2002.
(31) Ibid., p. 41.
(32) The term 'transitology' appears to have come from Phillipe Schmitter and Terry Lynn Karl, 'The Conceptual Travels of Transitologists and Consolidologists: How Far to the East Should They Attempt to Go?', Slavic Review, 53(1), 1994.
(33) See Larry Diamond, Developing Democracy: Towards Consolidation.
(34) See his definition with Linz and Lipset quoted above.
(35) Larry Diamond, Developing Democracy: Towards Consolidation, p. 54.
(37) Ibid., p. 60.
(38) Guy Hermet, 'Introduction: the Age of Democracy?', International Social Science Journal, 45, 1993, p. 253.
(39) Thomas Carothers, 'The End of the Transition Paradigm'.
(40) Nicolas Van de Wane, 'Africa's Range of Regimes', Journal of Democracy, 13(2), 2002, p. 75.
(41) Andreas Schedler, 'The Nested Game of Democratization by Elections', International Political Science Review, 23(1), 2002.
(42) William Case, 'Can the "Halfway House" Stand? Semidemocracy and Elite Theory in Three Southeast Asian Countries', Comparative Politics, 28, 1996, p. 457.
(43) Considering how long it took for Mexico to become democratic, it should not have been considered as a democracy for the many years it did not meet the definition criteria set out here.
(44) Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way, 'The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism', Journal of Democracy, 13(2), 2002, p. 51.
(45) Thomas Carothers, 'The End of the Transition Paradigm', p. 7.
(46) Freedom House, 'Annual Freedom in the World Country Scores 1972-73 to 2001-02', 2003, , accessed May 2003.
(47) These are countries categorised by Diamond as being either an electoral democracy or a pseudodemocracy. See Larry Diamond, Developing Democracy: Towards Consolidation, p. 279.
(48) Two of the countries listed by Diamond did not receive scores in 1992. Scoring for Macedonia did not begin until the end of 1993. A year later scoring started for Slovakia.
(49) This is using Diamond's categories.
(50) The remaining 20 countries improved their scores but not enough to qualify as liberal democracies.
(51) James Mayall, 'Democracy and International Society', International Affairs, 76(1), 2000, p. 64.
(52) Richard Joseph, 'Democratization in Africa after 1989: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives', Comparative Politics, 29(3), 1997 and 'Africa, 1990-1997: From Abertura to Closure', Journal of Democracy, 9(2), 1998.
(53) Thomas Carothers, 'Democracy Without Illusions', Foreign Affairs, 76(1), 1997, p. 90.
(54) I am grateful to one of my reviewers for reminding me of this fact.
(55) Guillermo O'Donnell, 'Delegative Democracy', Journal of Democracy, 5(1), 1994.
(56) ibid., p56.
(57) Scott Mainwaring et al, 'Classifying Political Regimes in Latin America, 1945-1999'.
(58) ibid., p. 12.
(59) Stephanie Lawson, 'Conceptual Issues in the Comparative Study of Regime Change and Democratization', Comparative Politics, 25(2), 1993, p. 184.
(60) Scott Mainwaring et al, 'Classifying Political Regimes in Latin America, 1945-1999'.
(61) See Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way, 'The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism'.
(62) Andreas Schedler, 'The Menu of Manipulation', p. 36.
(63) See Scott Mainwaring et at, 'Classifying Political Regimes in Latin America, 1945-1999' and Larry Diamond, 'Thinking About Hybrid Regimes', Journal of Democracy, 13(2), 2002, p. 25.
(64) See William Case, 'Can the "Halfway House" Stand?'.
(65) Cited in Andreas Schedler, 'The Nested Game of Democratization by Elections', p. 103.
(66) This phrase is best associated with Terry Lynn Karl's article, 'The Hybrid Regimes of Central America'.
(67) This does not deny the possibility for alternatives to these three types, but it does suggest that most states at present would fall into one of these categories.
(68) Conceivably it would be possible for a hybrid regime to exist that contained democratic features but did not have elections. Given the huge role elections play as a symbol of democracy and in bequeathing legitimacy, it is highly unlikely that this situation would occur. I am grateful to Dan Bray for raising this point.
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