Conceptual Structure and Social Change: The Ideological Architecture of Democratization

By Sara Schatz; Javier Jesús Gutiérrez-Rexach | Go to book overview

4

Mass Attitudes in the Transition to Electoral Democracy

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter we delineate the various stages that characterize the shift in priorities of mass actors (subjects of collective intentions) as nations undergo transitions to electoral democracy. The concept of a dynamic “phased” or “staged” model for understanding transition processes incorporates political, social, economic, and cognitive dimensions. Staged or phased models have long been recognized as useful ways to conceptualize social change and democratization and have been successfully employed in previous studies of the transition to democracy. Rustow (1970) conceptualized the process of democratization as a sequence of tasks. Joseph (1991) adapted Rustow's model to analyze democratization in Africa, identifying eight phases of transition: decay, mobilization, decision, formulation, electoral contestation, hand over, legitimation, and consolidation. Smith (1991) identified six stages in the Russian transition to democracy: delegitimation of the old regime, mobilization, deinstitutionalization, romantic reforms, institutional failure, and consolidation.

Democratization, as discussed here, is a complex variable encompassing fundamental political, cognitive-ideological, and social changes. It is a complex process involving multiple social actors (civil society movements, opposition parties, political elites), each with clearly distinctive formal and substantive definitions/views of democracy. 1 Democratization can be studied profitably by breaking it down into various mid-range

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Conceptual Structure and Social Change: The Ideological Architecture of Democratization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • 1 - Categorization and Social Agents: the Case of Democratization 1
  • 2 - A Cognitive Model of Concepts and Ideology 35
  • Note 86
  • 3 - Ideological Systems, Dynamics, and Constraints 87
  • Notes 112
  • 4 - Mass Attitudes in the Transition to Electoral Democracy 113
  • 5 - Governing Elites, Counterelites, and the Struggle to Shape Mass Opinion 157
  • Conclusions 193
  • Bibliography 197
  • Index 217
  • About the Authors 221
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