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Theories of Democratic Change II: Paths Away from Authoritarianism


This publication organizes and evaluates the body of current academic theory that can contribute to greater understanding of democratic openings in authoritarian systems. The authors explore why and how these openings may occur, recognizing that most cases of subtle change away from authoritarianism do not necessarily foretell a steady and unidirectional path towards democracy. The publication was produced by a research team from Michigan State University, and informed and vetted in two peer review workshops by a group of democratization scholars from American University, Brown University, Columbia University, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, and the University of Chicago.

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