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There are all too many cases in the world where dictatorships have been established following the holding of elections.
From a civil society perspective, what sustains political freedom is the widespread exercise of social and civic freedom by citizens, and the deep-rooted establishment of the values of freedom and self-reliance in a country.
This article concludes with an overview of literature on deconsolidation, which challenges the notion that democratic consolidation is irreversible.
Just as many different types of authoritarian regimes and paths of transition exist, so do many roads to consolidation.
The way in which to measure and define consolidation, therefore, is debated by scholars in the field.
Linz and Stepan provide a good introduction to the different components of consolidation, which they refer to as the five reinforcing “arenas” of consolidation: political institutions, the economy, rule of law, a usable bureaucracy and civil society.Moving away from arguments about preconditions, Alexander 2002 presents a theory of consolidation based on the strategic choices of political elites.Schedler 2001 and Munck and Verkuilen 2002 discuss issues related to the conceptualization of democracy and the measurement of consolidation.O’Donnell 1996 also challenges the view that consolidation can only take one path.He pushes this argument further by proposing that imperfect democracies that are not fully and formally institutionalized can also endure. 1996, which argues that certain sociopolitical practices can prevent and undo consolidation.