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Journal Article

How Did Europe Democratize?


Ziblatt,  Daniel
Projekte von Gastwissenschaftlern und Postdoc-Stipendiaten, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;
Center for European Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA;

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Ziblatt, D. (2006). How Did Europe Democratize? World Politics, 58(2), 311-338. doi:10.1353/wp.2006.0028.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-4C7F-2
How was democracy achieved in nineteenth-century Europe? This article reviews fours recent books that bring democracy's first wave "back in" to mainstream political science. By launching an important two-way interchange between earlier and subsequent waves of democratization, the books address three core questions: what prompts democratic openings; who are the most important actors in the push for democratization; and once undertaken, how is democracy secured. The four works offer different and at times competing answers to these questions, but all suggest that democracy's first wave was neither exceptional nor inevitable. Instead, it was marked by its own share of concessions and uncertainties, indicating the enduring relevance of Europe's democratization for contemporary cases.