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A Global Trend Toward Democratic Convergence? A Lijphartian Analysis of Advanced Democracies

Vatter, A., Flinders, M. and Bernauer, J. (2014) A Global Trend Toward Democratic Convergence? A Lijphartian Analysis of Advanced Democracies. Comparative Political Studies, 47 (6). pp. 903-929.

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The article offers a systematic analysis of the comparative trajectory of international democratic change. In particular, it focuses on the resulting convergence or divergence of political systems, borrowing from the literatures on institutional change and policy convergence. To this end, political-institutional data in line with Arend Lijphart’s (1999, 2012) empirical theory of democracy for 24 developed democracies between 1945 and 2010 are analyzed. Heteroscedastic multilevel models allow for directly modeling the development of the variance of types of democracy over time, revealing information about convergence, and adding substantial explanations. The findings indicate that there has been a trend away from extreme types of democracy in single cases, but no unconditional trend of convergence can be observed. However, there are conditional processes of convergence. In particular, economic globalization and the domestic veto structure interactively influence democratic convergence.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: Sage
Copyright: The Authors
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