A theory of political transitions

Author(s): Acemoglu, Daron; Robinson, James A

About this Entry
Abstract We develop a theory of political transitions inspired by the experiences of Western Europe and Latin America. Nondemocratic societies are controlled by a rich elite. The initially disenfranchised poor can contest power by threatening revolution, especially when the opportunity cost is low, for example, during recessions. The threat of revolution may force the elite to democratize. Democracy may not consolidate because it is redistributive, and so gives the elite an incentive to mount a coup. Highly unequal societies are less likely to consolidate democracy, and may end up oscillating between regimes and suffer substantial fiscal volatility.
Publication Title The American economic review
Publisher American Economic Assoc
Publication Date 2001
URIs http://www.econis.eu/PPNSET?PPN=335183905
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2677820
http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcAuth=SerialsSolutions&SrcApp=Summon&KeyUT=000171104900010&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=WOS
http://search.proquest.com/docview/233031347
Keywords Capitalist Systems: Political Economy (P16)
Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Alliances (D74)
Contests
Counterrevolution
Coup d'État
Coups d'etat
DEMOCRACY
Democracy
Democratic consolidation
Democratization
ECONOMIC-GROWTH
ECONOMICS
Economic aspects
Economic impact
Economic models
Economics
Elite (Social sciences)
Elites
Europe
Formal and Informal Sectors, Shadow Economy, Institutional Arrangements (O17)
INCOME-DISTRIBUTION
INEQUALITY
INSTABILITY
Income distribution
LAND-REFORM
Latin America
Latin America and the Caribbean
MODEL
Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions (D31)
Political Science
Political activity
Political change
Political institutions
Politics
Poor
Research
Revolution
Revolutions
Studies
Theory
Wealth
Western Europe
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