Constructing Democracy in Southern Europe : A comparative analysis of Italy, Spain and Turkey book cover
1st Edition

Constructing Democracy in Southern Europe
A comparative analysis of Italy, Spain and Turkey

ISBN 9780415591614
Published August 9, 2010 by Routledge
350 Pages

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Book Description

Why are some regimes democratic while others are not? Specifically, how have Spain and Italy managed to become democratic while Turkey, which shares many similar characteristics, has not?

Spain, Italy and Turkey have shared common historical features which would have been disruptive to any new democracy; however they represent a wide array of democratization experiences. Providing a comparative case study analysis, this book offers some clues as to the reasons for successful transitions to democracy. This is done through a range of variables which include:

  • the degree of ‘stateness’ problems
  • learning from previous experiences with democracy and authoritarianism
  • economic development
  • the procedures used for designing the new rules of the regime
  • the existence or absence of ‘civil society’ and the connection between society and political institutions
  • the democratic rules themselves
  • the professionalization of the military
  • the influence of external factors on democratic consolidation.

By examining these variables across the three countries, Lauren McLaren narrows the range of possible explanations for differences in democratic consolidation. The book will be of particular interest to students and researchers of European Politics and Democratization Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Problems in State Building  3. Experiencing the Breakdown of Democracy  4. Pre-Transition Economic Structures and Economic Development  5. Constitution Building  6. The Representation of Social and Political Cleavages  7. The Functioning of Government: Executive and Parliament  8. The Resolution of Regional Conflict  9. The Professionalization of the Military  10. External Influences and Democratic Consolidation  11. Conclusion.  Appendix: Research Design and Case Selection

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Lauren M. McLaren is Associate Professor of Politics at the University Of Nottingham, UK.