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Ten Challenges of Democratic Consolidation Democratic consolidation confronts a number of characteristic challenges in new and insecure democracies What is striking about these challenges varies across countries and over time however and it would be an overstatement to characterize the complete resolution of any one of them as necessary for democratic consolidation Beyond establishing and routinizing broad commitment to the rules of the democratic game there are probably no strictly necessary conditions for democratic consolidation except removing the military as a reserved domain of power that limits the electoral accountability of government to citizens However the more these challenges persist in acute form and the more they cumulate unresolved the less likely democratic consolidation will be 1 Economic Performance It is by now a truism that the better the performance of a democratic regime in producing and broadly distributing improvements in living standards the more likely it is to endure Many truisms are false outdated or misleading but in contrast to some observers of Latin America I do not believe this generalization is ready yet for the junk heap of comparative politics theory Beyond the examples of numerous democratic implosions during the Great Depression of the interwar years and the historic vulnerability of Latin American democracies during hard economic times powerful quantitative evidence for the argument emerges from the research of Przeworski and his colleagues Their analysis of post-WWII regimes 1950-90 shows that while the level of economic development powerfully shapes the survival prospects of democracy and affluent democracies survive no matter what among moderate-income and especially poor countries democracy is much more likely to last when the economy grows rapidly with moderate inflation Przeworski et al 1996 41-42 They define as affluent those countries with annual per capita incomes of 6000 or more in purchasing-power parity US dollars 1985 international prices Moderate-income countries have per annum per capita incomes of 1000-6000 and poor countries are under 1000 Poor countries they
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