Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

The Long March: Deep Democracy in Cross-National Perspective

May 23, 2019

The Long March: Deep Democracy in Cross-National Perspective, co-authored by former Postdoctoral Fellows Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Adaner Usmani, and Brown University’s Benjamin Bradlow, was published by Oxford Academic’s Social Forces on May 14, 2019.

Across the globe, democracy has spread far and wide for the last two centuries from countries transitioning away from authoritarian rule. Yet not all democracies are created equal. “Some regimes promote the participation of citizens and ensure equal access to the state. Others, however, remain democracies in procedure only.” In the first ever comprehensive cross-national analysis of democratic deepening, Kadivar, Usmani, and Bradlow found that “one of the most consistent and powerful predictors of democratic deepening is the length of contentious mobilization prior to democratization.” They also found partial support for inequality- and class-based explanations of democratization, as well as oil production levels, and the size of a country’s population as consistent predictors of democratization across dimensions. To further explain, Brazil’s transition from an authoritarian government to a formal democracy is used as a case study. 

To read more from the study, click here.