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Perfiles latinoamericanos

Print version ISSN 0188-7653


ACKERMAN, John M.. Democratización: pasado, presente y futuro. Perf. latinoam. [online]. 2006, vol.13, n.28, pp.117-157. ISSN 0188-7653.

This article reviews the most important authors and schools of thought in the interdisciplinary field of democratization studies. It begins with a historical discussion of the classic texts that dominated the field both during the 1960s (Lipset, Moore, Huntington) and the 1970s (O'Donnell, Rustow, Therborn) and then moves on to explore the explosion of democratization studies that has arisen over the past two decades. The article divides the contemporary literature into five schools of thought (Elite-Centered, Civil Society, Class Structure, Political Economy, International Forces) and explores the strengths and weaknesses of each. The article concludes with an overview of the research on the challenges that arise after the achievement of a successful democratic transition. It identifies four central problems that exist in the recent literature on democratic consolidation and state reform in Latin America and proposes a way out that should allow us to avoid the pitfalls of the past.

Keywords : democratic transitions; democratic consolidation; state reform; comparative politics; historical-comparative sociology; Latin America.

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