In 1760, no polity in the world was democratic in any way we would now recognize. In 1995, there were democratic states on every continent and in every region. The struggle to create, sustain, and entrench democratic political systems is one of the central narratives of modernity. This textbook surveys and explores this story. Part I is an introduction to the book as a whole, an overview and elaboration is offered of the key explanatory models of democratization. Part 1 refines the description of a regime's democratic status, and it explores the models and strategies of comparative analysis used in the book. While each of the subsequent 20 chapters can stand on their own, they have all been framed by a shared engagement with and discussion of the dynamics of democratization set out here. Part II surveys the course of democratization in the West from 1760 to 1989, examining both the early breakthroughs of the French and American Revolutions and the inter-war crisis of European democracy. The post-war era is covered by discussions of the impact of WWII, the democratic revolutions in Southern Europe and the struggle of the American Civil Rights movement.
Part III examines the experience of Latin America and Asia. The Latin American case is covered in two chapters stretching from the 1930s to the 1990s. Finally, the conclusion both reviews the regional variations in democratization, and considers the pressing question of how democracies once created can be sustained. "Democratization" should provide students and teachers with a useful resource for examining the complex fate of democratic politics across the world.show more