TABLE OF CONTENTS - Newsletter For The Comparative Politics Section Of APSA

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THE ORGANIZED SECTION IN COMPARATIVE POLITICSOF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATIONNEWSLETTERAPSA COMPARATIVE POLITICSVOLUME XXXI ISSUE 1 SPRING 2021TABLE OF CONTENTSNEWSLETTERSTAFFJohns Hopkins UniversitySchool of AdvancedInternational StudiesLead EditorEugene Finkelefinkel4@jhu.eduEditorsAdria Lawrenceadria.lawrence@jhu.eduAndrew Merthaamertha1@jhu.eduEditorial BoardLisel HintzSarah ParkinsonPavithra SuryanarayanEditorial AssistantMaya Camargo-VemuriFrom the Editors: Transitionsby Eugene Finkel, Adria Lawrence, and Andrew Mertha2Episodes of Regime Transformation: Assessing Democratization and Autocratization since 1900by Amanda B. Edgell, Matthew C. Wilson, and Seraphine F. Maerz5Comparative Lessons from Africa’s Democratic Transitions, Thirty Years Laterby Nicolas van de Walle15Facilitating transitions? Civil society organizations in post-conflict democratization in sub-Saharan Africaby Justine Davis23How East European Countries Signaled their Reforms to the World: Theorizing Post-Communist Transitionby Hilary Appel and Mitchell A. Orenstein30The Political Psychology of Regime Transitionsby Elizabeth R. Nugent37Explaining when exactly autocrats’ misdeeds generate mass protest: Evidence from the 2020 Belarus uprisingby Stas Gorelik43Plus Ça Change: New Media and Eternal Protestby Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld50Transitions in Migration Strategies and Government Immigration Enforcement:How Outcomes Will Only Become Worse for Irregular Migrantsby Justin Schon57Studying Migrant Exclusion within the Global Southby Yang-Yang Zhou66Failing to transition in the Anthropoceneby Debra Javeline76Gender Inequalities and Presidential Politics: (Im)possible to Transform?by Catherine Reyes-Housholder84The rise of Indigenous recognition: implications for comparative politicsby Nina McMurry, Danielle Hiraldo and Christoper L. Carter93Police Militarization and its Political Consequencesby Erica De Bruin103Transitions to and from Civil Warby Anastasia Shesterinina112CONTACTQ&A with Mark R. Beissinger (World Politics)120Q&A with Shaun Bowler (British Journal of Political Science)122Johns Hopkins UniversitySchool of AdvancedInternational Studies1740 Massachusetts AveNWWashington, DC 20036Q&A with Graeme B. Robertson (American Journal of Political Science)125Q&A with David J. Samuels (Comparative Political Studies)127Q&A with Margit Tavits (Journal of Politics, 2018-2020)129Q&A with Aili M. Tripp (American Political Science Review)131

APSA COMPARATIVE POLITICSTHE ORGANIZED SECTION IN COMPARATIVE POLITICSOF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATIONLetter from the EditorsBACK TO SUMMARYFROM THE EDITORS : Transitionsby Eugene Finkel, Adria Lawrence, and Andrew MerthaIn his April 28, 2021 address to the U.S. Congress,President Joe Biden compared the country toa “house on fire” and declared that the U.S. wasat “a great inflection point in history.” Politicalspeech-making encourages hyperbole, and yetsuch statements can be effective when theyconvey a shared sense that the current momentis one of uncertainty and change, as the countryEugene Finkeland the global community undergo a shift fromis Associate Professor ofInternational Affairs, Johns the past to an unknown future. Recent developHopkins SAIS. His email is ments suggest that that the second decade ofefinkel4@jhu.edu.the twentieth century is opening with new challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic and its unevenglobal effects, climate change, political polarization, the emergence of right-wing populism,the eruption of mass protest, and the possibilityof violence and democratic backsliding in established democracies, to name a few.Adria Lawrenceis the Aronson AssociateProfessor of InternationalStudies and PoliticalScience, Johns HopkinsUniversity. Her email isadria.lawrence@jhu.edu.job insecurity have affected some in our ranksmore than others and deepened inequalitywithin the academy. We have all been forcedto adapt our teaching, research, and outreachto existing circumstances. As vaccination ratesrise, talk has turned to questions of what the“new normal” will look like, a phrase that suggests that our current predicaments are unlikelyto lead to a return to the past, but to new, as yetunknown, practices.It thus seems like an ideal time to consider thescholarship on transitions within comparative politics. Periods of transitions are characterized by uncertainty – their endpoints areunknown. The hopeful research agenda on transitions to democracy that followed the wave ofdemocratization in Europe, Latin America, andAsia prompted, as Juan Linz put it, a desire toWithin the academy, the past year has brought understand such transitions “for the purposeboth opportunities and constraints. The global of political engineering, so as to carry forwardpandemic and its political effects have raised the democratic banners.” 1 But as Linz and subnew research questions, even as scholars have sequent scholars pointed out, transitions canfaced serious constraints on their ability to un- begin but remain incomplete, and have bothdertake research. As a field, we have become positive and negative consequences for polmore aware of the disparities within our disci- itics and society. Regime transitions are onlypline: resources, childcare needs, illness, and one kind of transition. Transitions are periods of1. Linz, Juan J. “Transitions to Democracy.” The Washington Quarterly 13, no. 3 (September 1, 1990): 143–64.APSA-CP Newsletter Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 2021page 2

FROM THE EDITORS : TRANSITIONS ( CONTINUED )uncertainty; they are critical for political changebut also challenging to study and understand.Andrew Merthais George and Sadie HymanProfessor of China Studies,Johns Hopkins SAIS. Hisemail is amertha1@jhu.edu.In this issue, our contributors discuss a widerange of socio-political transitions, from climate change to migration to regime changes.Several contributions focus on recent advancesin our understanding of how political regimestransition.Amanda Edgell, Matthew Wilson and SeraphineMaerz introduce the Episodes of RegimeTransformation (ERT) dataset. Focusing on episodes and instances of transformation that fallshort of full-scale transition to or from a certainregime type, they argue, can be helpful in better understanding broader political dynamics.Nicolas van de Walle surveys the experience ofthirty years of regime transitions in Africa andthe lessons they offer for the broader comparative politics scholarship. Elections and verticalaccountability institutions, he argues, are thekey factors researchers need to study to betterunderstand the diverging results of regime transitions in the continent.Justine Davis zooms in on one specific featureof regime transitions in Africa, namely the roleof civil society organizations in promoting democratization in post-conflict settings. Thecontribution argues that to fully understandthe challenges of post-conflict democratizationscholars and policymakers need to better understand the impact of violence on NGOs andtheir ability to promote democratic norms andbehavior.Hilary Appel and Mitchell Orenstein unpackthe challenges of simultaneous political andeconomic transitions by focusing on post-communist Eastern Europe. Appel and Orensteindemonstrate that even though voters in newlydemocratized Eastern Europe were expected toAPSA-CP Newsletter Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 2021reject painful neoliberal reforms, the dynamicsof the post-communist countries’ reintegrationinto the global economy made neoliberalism adurable feature of transitions from communism.Elizabeth Nugent and Stas Gorelik analyze theemergence of mass protests under autocracies.Focusing on the Arab Spring, Nugent discussesthe promises of the political psychology approach to understanding mobilization. Morespecifically, she highlights three areas in whichpsychological approaches are especially helpful in explaining contentious politics: emotions and protest mobilization, identity andcontingency, and personal transformations astransitional outcomes. Gorelik adopts a similar approach to explain the seemingly suddenrecent emergence of mass protests in Belarus.The contribution argues that the concepts ofaccountability and moral shocks help explainthe onset of protest mobilization in the country. Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld discusses theimpact of social media on protest mobilization.New technologies and modes of communication, he demonstrates, did change contentiouspolitics in some ways, but contrary to early expectations, they did not alter the more fundamental dynamics and logics of protest.Justin Schon surveys the co-evolution of migrants’ strategies and states’ enforcement responses. He concludes that the co-evolutionarydevelopment of migration and enforcementstrategies is unlikely to yield positive outcomesfor unauthorized migrants. Yang-Yang Zhoufocuses on the changes in the perception ofmigrants within host societies. Examining theheterogeneity among migrants and citizengroups and the cross-cutting identities between them, Zhou argues, sheds new lights onhow migration transforms political attitudes.page 3

FROM THE EDITORS : TRANSITIONS ( CONTINUED )Catherine Reyes-Housholder examines thegender aspects of political transformations bystudying Latin America’s female presidents. Thecontribution demonstrates that the phenomenon of female presidents is both recent andprecarious, as female presidents face differentexpectations and challenges than their malecounterparts. Nina McMurry, Danielle Hiraldoand Christoper Carter analyze transitions in indigenous politics. The authors focus on a recentgrowth in the recognition of Indigenous rightsand find that recognition can improve politicalrepresentation when it strengthens Indigenousinstitutions but might also reduce representation if indigenous institutions are weakened.Debra Javeline discusses adaptation to climate change. Javeline shows that comparativists largely ignore the topic despite its crucialimportance. She suggests ways to better integrate climate studies and comparative politicsscholarship.If you would like to cite this,or any other, issue of the Comparative Politics Newsletter,we suggest using a variant of the following citation:Finkel, Eugene, Adria Lawrence and Andrew Mertha (eds.).2021. “Transitions.” Newsletter of the Organized Sectionin Comparative Politics of the American Political ScienceAssociation,APSA-CPNewsletter31(1).Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 2021Finally, Erica De Bruin and AnastasiaShesterinina focus on transitions in the practices and use of violence. Erica De Bruin surveysthe emerging global phenomenon of policemilitarization. The militarization of police, sheargues, has important political consequencesin areas such as distribution of resources, prevention of police reforms and the survival ofleaders and regimes. Shesterinina leveragesher research on the Georgian-Abkhaz war of1992-1993 and Colombia to analyze transitionsto and from civil wars. To better understandsuch transitions the contribution highlightsthe key importance of micro-level mechanismsand individual trajectories of mobilization anddemobilization.In this issue of the Newsletter we include shortQ&As with current and recent editors of severaltop disciplinary and subfield journals. Aili Tripp,Graeme Robertson, Margit Tavits, Shaun Bowler,Mark Beissinger and David Samuels answer ourquestions about how research and publishing inComparative Politics is changing.If you have comments,suggestions, or ideasfor future issues and new features please contactEugene Finkel:efinkel4@jhu.edupage 4

APSA COMPARATIVE POLITICSTHE ORGANIZED SECTION IN COMPARATIVE POLITICSOF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATIONBACK TO SUMMARYEPISODES OF REGIME TRANSFORMATION :Assessing Democratization and Autocratization since 1900by Amanda B. Edgell, Matthew C. Wilson, and Seraphine F. MaerzAmanda B. Edgellis an Assistant Professor ofPolitical Science, Universityof Alabama. Her email isabedgell@ua.edu.Matthew C. Wilsonis an Assistant Professor ofPolitical Science, Universityof South Carolina.His email is wilso929@mailbox.sc.edu.By now, most would agree that regime changetends to occur in wave-like patterns across theglobe (Huntington 1991). Most will also agreethat the current global trend appears to bein a more autocratic direction. According toFreedom House, democracy is “under siege”.The Economist Intelligence Unit also observeda “very bad year” for global democracy, downgrading a majority of countries on its index.Lührmann and Lindberg (2019) go so far asto claim we are living through a “third wave ofautocratization”.This raises the question: Are instances of apparent democratization (or its reverse, autocratization) meaningful for explaining where acountry is headed? Although Gabon is not verydemocratic today, changes associated with the1990 legislative elections – the first multipartycontest since 1967 – appear substantive whencompared to neighboring Equatorial Guinea.Repeated observations of failed liberalizationmay help to explain eventual democratic transitions in countries like Ghana or Argentina, whichare characterized by “ratcheting” as iteratedattempts at liberalization progressively movedthese countries toward democracy. This information may also be helpful for understandingAPSA-CP Newsletter Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 2021the tenuous circumstances facing countriesthat have recently liberalized, such as Armenia,Burma/Myanmar, and Ethiopia, as well as democracies that show ongoing backsliding, suchas Brazil, Poland, and South Africa.Questions about political regime change –what explains democratization and democratic breakdown, and descriptions of historicaltrends – constitute a major area of research incomparative politics that is primed for innovation. Recent work by Treisman (2020) highlightsgradual processes and the role of accidents,encouraging a renewed approach to identifyingand explaining regime change. Despite the increasing sophistication of quantitative analyseson the topic, dominant approaches to explaining regime change suffer from several issues.They fail to account for cases in which changesoccurred but a transition was never observed,they tend to prioritize short-term changes, andthey focus separately on movements towardand away from democracy.To extend the empirical study of regime change,we and a large team of collaborators developedthe Episodes of Regime Transformation (ERT)dataset to identify periods of substantial andpage 5

EPISODES OF REGIME TRANSFORMATION ( CONTINUED )sustained changes in the V-Dem electoral democracy index (EDI) (Edgell et al. 2020; Maerz etal. 2021; Coppedge et al. 2020). These data contain information on the start, end, and outcomeof 680 ERTs in 168 countries from 1900 to 2019.We also developed an R package that allows users to compile the data and to reset the paramSeraphine F. Maerz eters for sensitivity analysis (Maerz et al. 2020).What are Episodes of RegimeTransformation?Episodes of regime transformation (ERTs) areperiods of sustained and substantial changesin a country’s adherence to the institutions andpractices associated with polyarchy (as definedby Dahl 1971). These episodes have a definedstart and end date, direction, and magnitudeis an Assistant Professor ofand are classified along several possible outPolitical Science, University The ERT offers several main advantages overof Gothenburg. Her email is existing approaches to studying regime change comes. As such, we blend l regime transformations) and differand supports growth in the research in this area.ences-in-kind (regime transitions), finding valThis is exemplified by the fact that we observeue in both approaches to the study of regimemany different transformation processes andchange.outcomes and considerable uncertainty concerning the likelihood of democratization and Regime transformation can take two generalforms: democratization, or movements towardautocratization.the democratic ideal, and autocratization,In this contribution, we describe global trends inmovements away from it. While often treatedregime transformation over the past 120 yearsseparately in the literature, we argue that deand discuss the potential benefits of mocratization and autocratization should beRegime transformation rethinking our approach to studying thought of as obverse processes or two sides ofregime change. This builds on and regime transformation, as illustrated in Figure 1.is not a rare event.summarizes research conducted by aRather, it is a globalAs shown in Figure 1, the ERT also differentiatesphenomenon in a geo- larger team of collaborators who have episodes with the potential for a regime trancontributed to the conceptualizationtemporal sense.and development of the ERT dataset.1 sition across the democracy/autocracy divideIn this piece, we do not address the more tech- from those that further deepen existing regimenical details of our coding decisions; readers qualities (Maerz et al. 2021). Specifically, we usecan find this information in our documenta- the term liberalizing autocracy for democratization episodes in autocracies and the termtion, R-package, and working paper (Edgell et al.democratic regression for autocratization epi2020; Maerz et al. 2020; Maerz et al. 2021).sodes in democracies. When further democratization occurs within a democracy, we call this1. In addition to the authors of this contribution, the larger ERT team also includes (alphabetized): Vanessa Boese, SebastianHellmeier, Jean Lachapelle, Staffan I. Lindberg, Patrik Lindenfors, Anna Lührmann, Laura Maxwell, Juraj Medzihorsky, and RichardMorgan. Joshua Krussell has also provided assistance with C coding and the R-package. The ERT is funded by the SwedishResearch Council Grant 2018-01614, P.I. Anna Lührmann; by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation to the Wallenberg AcademyFellow Staffan I. Lindberg, Grant 2018.0144; by the European Research Council, Grant 724191, P.I. Staffan I. Lindberg; as well asby internal grants from the Vice Chancellor’s office, the Dean of the College of Social Sciences, and the Department of PoliticalScience at the University of Gothenburg. Computations of expert data were enabled by the Swedish National Infrastructure forComputing (SNIC) at the National Supercomputer Centre, Linköping University, partially funded by the Swedish Research Councilthrough Grant no. 2019/3-516.APSA-CP Newsletter Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 2021page 6

EPISODES OF REGIME TRANSFORMATION ( CONTINUED )DemocratizationLiberalizing autocracyClosed autocracyDemocratic deepeningElectoral autocracyElectoral democracyAutocratic regressionFigure 1.Conceptualizing episodesof regime transformation(from Maerz et al. 2021).Liberal democracyDemocratic regressionAutocratizationdemocratic deepening. Similarly, when further authoritarian election for the legislature, a conautocratization occurs within an autocracy, we stituent assembly, or the executive or remainscall this autocratic regression.autocratic for at least five years.Finally, to define regime transitions, we use arather thick conceptualization derived fromcase studies and our own extensive face validitytests. A democratic transition occurs when anautocratic regime meets minimally democraticconditions (based on the Regimes of the Worldclassification, Lührmann et al. 2018) and holdsfounding democratic elections for the legislature, a constituent assembly, or the executive.We also require that the officials chosen in thefounding election are able to assume office.Conversely, a democratic breakdown occurswhen a democratic regime becomes a closedautocracy or if it falls below the minimal threshold for democracy and either holds a foundingRegime Transformation over Timeand SpaceTable 1 provides a quick summary of the ERTdataset. Several novel insights can be gleanedfrom this simple overview. First, we observe atotal of 680 episodes from 1900 to 2019. Theseepisodes comprise 4,217 country-years, orabout 22.4% of the V-Dem sample.2 They occurin 168 countries, meaning that 92% of the 183countries included in the main V-Dem datahave experienced at least one ERT. This suggests that regime transformation is not a rareevent. Rather, it is a global phenomenon in ageo-temporal sense.2. Throughout, when we refer to the “V-Dem sample”, we mean the ordinary, post-1900 country-years. We exclude the historicalV-Dem data going back to 1789 due to missing data on variables needed to construct the ERT.Table 1.Episodes in the ERT (v2.2)Notes:“Censored” in this table refersto episodes ongoing in thefinal year for which data areavailable or the year before agap in the V-Dem coding.NPercentCensoredCountriesYearsMean DurationDemocratic deepening446.56393277.4Liberalizing autocracy38356.31516425546.7Democratic regression9614.125706747.0Autocratic .1APSA-CP Newsletter Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 2021page 7

EPISODES OF REGIME TRANSFORMATION ( CONTINUED )This finding is further reinforced in Figure 2 andFigure 3. Figure 2 plots the number of countries experiencing an ERT over time. For bothdemocratization and autocratization, we seea clustering of episodes during particular timeperiods, reflecting the overall wave-like natureof regime transformation previously observedby Huntington (1991) and more recently byLührmann and Lindberg (2019). Figure 3 mapsthe number of episodes each country has experienced since 1900. This illustrates the scope ofregime transformation, with democratizationand autocratization episodes occurring acrossall geopolitical regions.Second, we find that democratization is muchmore common than autocratization; 63% of allepisodes constitute improvements in electoraldemocracy. Most of the democratization we seeis driven by liberalizing autocracies, rather thanfurther deepening in established democracies.These episodes of liberalizing autocracy haveoccurred in 164 countries, or 88% of the V-Demsample. This reflects a general, global trend toward more democratic forms of governance andaway from authoritarianism, which has arguablybeen the default regime type throughout muchof known human history (Ahram and Goode2016). These trends are further depicted by thetemporal and spatial patterns in Figures 2 and 3.Third, the average ERT lasts for more than sixyears, reinforcing the argument that regimetransformation is a protracted process takingplace over several years. Only 53 episodes in theERT last just one year (less than 8% of the data).By contrast, over half (53% or 361 episodes) ofobserved ERTs last for 5 years or more. This suggests that analyses of country-year data withshort temporal lags, which are common in thecomparative field, may be biased because theydo not account for the fact that regime transformation often unfolds over a longer time span.A. DemocratizationDemocratic deepeningLiberalizing 30B. AutocratizationFigure 2.Temporal trends in regimetransformation from 1900to 2019. Shading representsthe percentage of countriesglobally experiencing thatparticular type of ERT withinthe year. Darker shades represent higher percentagesof countries in an episode.Democratic regressionAutocratic regressionAPSA-CP Newsletter Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 202119001920194019600519801015page 8

EPISODES OF REGIME TRANSFORMATION ( CONTINUED )A. Democratization1 2 3 45 6B. AutocratizationFigure 3.Geographic trends in regimetransformation from 1900to 2019. Values representthe number of episodesexperienced by the countryduring this period. Darkershading represents agreater number of episodes.Countries in grey have notexperienced any episodes.1 2 3 45 6Episodes of Regime Transformationare Fraught with UncertaintyThese two episode types are represented inFigure 1 using a dashed line to emphasize that despite their potential for a regime transition, suchIn Table 2, we highlight liberalizing autocracytransitions are by no means guaranteed. Indeed,as an authoritarian regime undergoing democ- the ERT dataset provides strong empirical eviratization with the prospect of a democratic dence of this uncertainty. Table 2 shows that overtransition and democratic regression as autoc- half – 245 out of 455 or 54% – of all episodes withratization in democracies that might ultimately the potential for a regime transition did not expeyield democratic breakdown (Maerz et al. 2021). rience a transition by the end of the episode.APSA-CP Newsletter Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 2021page 9

EPISODES OF REGIME TRANSFORMATION ( CONTINUED )Table 2.Episodes with a potentialregime transition in the ERT.Notes: “Censored” in this tablerefers to episodes where theoutcome is unknown because atransition had not yet occurredand the episode was ongoing inthe final year for which data areavailable or the year before a gapin the V-Dem coding.NTransitionNo transitionCensoredContinuesLiberalizing autocracy38314522612112Democratic regression9665191251Total47921024524163The ERT also shows that liberalization in autocracies is considerably more uncertain thanautocratization is for democracies (Wilson et al.2020; Boese et al. 2021). Liberalizing autocracies fail to produce a democratic transition 61%of the time (226/371 uncensored outcomes).Burundi is a typical example: four episodesof liberalization have yielded no democratictransition, and after each episode, the case hasreverted back to an apparent autocratic equilibrium. Yet, cases like Ecuador and Senegalillustrate the bumpy road to democracy; eachexperienced four failed attempts at liberalization before successfully democratizing in 1980and 1990 respectively.of the time (112/145 transitions, see “Continues”Table 2). Portugal serves as the classic example of the “third wave of democracy” (e.g.Huntington 1991) where democratization beganas early as 1970, well before the 1974 CarnationRevolution yielded a democratic transitionin 1976, and continued to deepen until 1984.Likewise, after a democratic breakdown, episodes continue with further autocratic regression over 78% of the time (51/65 breakdowns,see “Continues” Table 2). Nicaragua, for example, began autocratizing in 2003, experienceda democratic breakdown in 2007, and has seenfurther autocratic regression ever since.By contrast, democracies rarely avoid breakdown once autocratization has begun (Boeseet al. 2021). Democratic regression produces ademocratic breakdown about 77% of the time(65/84 uncensored outcomes). This includesHungary, which became the EU’s first autocracyin 2018. At the same time, nineteen cases managed to “beat backsliding”, such as South Koreaunder the Lee and Park administrations (from2008-2016), which has since “re-equilibrated”its democracy (Croissant 2020; Linz 1978).Regime Transformation is More Likelyin AutocraciesDespite the grim realities for democratic regression presented in Table 1, we find that democracies are generally quite stable. Just 96 episodesof democratic regression occur between 1900and 2019, suggesting that democracies areoverall highly resilient to autocratization onset(Boese et al. 2021). Similarly, we find only 44episodes of democratic deepening, or furtherdemocratization within already democraticcountries. By contrast, the vast majority – moreTransitions are Events Embeddedthan 79% – of episodes originate in autocracies,within a Longer Process of Regimeregardless of their direction, suggesting that auTransformationthoritarian regimes are much less stable thanWe find that when transitions or breakdowns democracies. The high degree of uncertaintyoccur, they tend to be a waystation rather than for autocracies reflects the well-known dynamthe culmination of the episode (Maerz et al. ics of power sharing and control under infor2021). After a democratic transition, episodes mation-poor conditions (Svolik 2012; Schedlercontinue with democratic deepening about 77% 2013).APSA-CP Newsletter Vol. XXXI, Issue 1, Spring 2021page 10

EPISODES OF REGIME TRANSFORMATION ( CONTINUED )What Happens When TransformationFalls Short of Transition?The high uncertainty surrounding regime transformation, particularly when it comes to transitions, presents a set of new questions: Whatultimately happens to autocracies that liberalize, but fall short of democracy? Similarly, whathappens to democracies that regress, but avoidbreakdown? To address these questions, weconceptualize three non-transition outcomesfor episodes that had the potential to but nevertheless did not experience a transition. Figure 4illustrates these outcomes and their observedfrequencies.Liberalizing autocracies can fail to produce ademocratic transition in three ways (Wilson etal. 2020). A preempted transition occurs whenthe country achieves minimally democraticconditions but fails to hold a founding electionbefore reverting back to autocracy. We observethis “near miss” outcome 16 times in the ERT(just 7% of 226 no-transition outcomes). For episodes that never temporarily meet the minimalcriteria for democracy, we distinguish two otherpossible outcomes. We classify those that endwith no further meaningful changes on the EDIfor 5 years or more as stabilized electoral autocracy. As we might expect from the literatureon authoritarian institutional adaptation (e.g.Schedler 2013), we find this outcome in 87 episodes (about 38% of no-transition outcomes).Finally, reverted liberalization refers to countries that revert back to closed autocracy or experience a meaningful one-year or substantialfive-year decline on the EDI after the end of theepisode. This outcome is most common – accounting for over half of the no-transition outcomes (123/226).A. Liberalizing AutocracyDemocracyDemocratic transition (145)Preempted transition (16)Stabilized electoral autocracy (87)Reverted liberalization (123)AutocracyB. Democratic RegressionDemocracyAverted regression (14)Diminished democracy (0)Figure 4.Possible outcomes of liberalizing autocracy and democratic regression (adaptedf

Comparative Politics is changing. If you would like to cite this, or any other, issue of the Comparative Politics Newsletter, we suggest using a variant of the following citation: Finkel, Eugene, Adria Lawrence and Andrew Mertha (eds.). 2021. "Transitions." Newsletter of the Organized Section in Comparative Politics of the American .

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