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Democratization and Civil Liberties: The Role of Violence During the Transition

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  • Cervellati, Matteo

    (University of Bologna)

  • Fortunato, Piergiuseppe

    (UNCTAD)

  • Sunde, Uwe

    (University of Munich)

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of violent civil conflicts during the process of democratization for the quality of emerging democracies, and in particular, the protection of civil (political and economic) liberties. A simple theory in which different groups may engage in violent conflict in order to become the ruler predicts a crucial role of the democratization scenario. A peaceful democratization leads to democracies with a high degree of civil liberties, reflecting a social contract according to which all groups are politically represented and the rulers deliberately abstain from wasteful rent extraction. A transition to democracy under a violent conflict is less likely to lead to a system with a high degree of civil liberties. Empirical evidence from the third wave of democratization based on a difference-in-difference methodology supports the theoretical predictions. The findings suggest that violent conflicts during the democratic transition have persistent negative effects on the quality of the emerging democracies.

Suggested Citation

  • Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Democratization and Civil Liberties: The Role of Violence During the Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 5555, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5555
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    Cited by:

    1. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Democratization, Violent Social Conflicts, and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5643, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Piergiuseppe Fortunato & Ugo Panizza, 2015. "Democracy, education and the quality of government," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 333-363, December.
    3. Cervellati Matteo & Fortunato Piergiuseppe & Sunde Uwe, 2012. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-51, December.
    4. Matteo Cervellati & Piergiuseppe Fortunato & Uwe Sunde, 2015. "Roots and Fruits of Democracy: Natural Resources, Income Distribution and Social Violence," World Economic Review, World Economics Association, vol. 2015(4), pages 1-27, February.
    5. Piergiuseppe Fortunato, 2015. "Democratic Government and Development: A Survey," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 32(2), pages 153-177, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    democratization; civil conflict; violent democratization; civil liberties;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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