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Why is Democracy in Decline: Democratic Backsliding in Venezuela and Turkey

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Date Issued:
2018
Abstract/Description:
It has long been argued that the end of the 20th century marked the triumph of liberal democracy. The third wave of democracy has increased the number of democracies in the world unprecedentedly and gave hope to many that democratic revolution is underway. However, in the last decade, this democratization process seems to have halted; there has been decline both in the number and quality of democracies. This thesis proposes an agent-based theory of democratic backsliding. More specifically, it is argued that leaders with undemocratic normative preferences and their ability to mobilize previously persecuted segments of society are the driving factors behind the present-day authoritarian resurgence. While the leader's fight with the oppressors of the marginalized group can bring a short-term of democratization, we argue that the unconditional support given by the marginalized group to the leader can allow the leader to undermine democracy by removing the checks on his power. The paper attempts to investigate similarities in the process of democratic derogation in a comparative case study of Venezuela and Turkey. The study shows that the support given to Erdogan and Chavez by the previously persecuted groups in their respective countries, religious/conservatives in Turkey and poor in Venezuela, allowed both leaders to undermine democracy in a subtle and incremental way.
Title: Why is Democracy in Decline: Democratic Backsliding in Venezuela and Turkey.
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Name(s): Bayraktar, Fatih, Author
Ash, Konstantin, Committee Chair
Wilson, Bruce, Committee CoChair
Dolan, Thomas, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: It has long been argued that the end of the 20th century marked the triumph of liberal democracy. The third wave of democracy has increased the number of democracies in the world unprecedentedly and gave hope to many that democratic revolution is underway. However, in the last decade, this democratization process seems to have halted; there has been decline both in the number and quality of democracies. This thesis proposes an agent-based theory of democratic backsliding. More specifically, it is argued that leaders with undemocratic normative preferences and their ability to mobilize previously persecuted segments of society are the driving factors behind the present-day authoritarian resurgence. While the leader's fight with the oppressors of the marginalized group can bring a short-term of democratization, we argue that the unconditional support given by the marginalized group to the leader can allow the leader to undermine democracy by removing the checks on his power. The paper attempts to investigate similarities in the process of democratic derogation in a comparative case study of Venezuela and Turkey. The study shows that the support given to Erdogan and Chavez by the previously persecuted groups in their respective countries, religious/conservatives in Turkey and poor in Venezuela, allowed both leaders to undermine democracy in a subtle and incremental way.
Identifier: CFE0007155 (IID), ucf:52302 (fedora)
Note(s): 2018-08-01
M.A.
Sciences, Political Science
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Democracy -- Democratic Backsliding -- Venezuela -- Turkey -- Illiberal Democracy -- Comparative Case Study -- Latin America -- Middle East
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0007155
Restrictions on Access: campus 2021-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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