Why have so many attempts at democracy in the past half-century failed? Confronting this much discussed question, Jay Ulfelder offers a novel explanation for the coups and rebellions that have toppled fledgling democratic regimes and that continue to threaten many new democracies today. Ulfelder draws on an original dataset of 110 democratic failures spanning 1955-2007 and also presents analytic narratives for six cases (Cyprus, Fiji, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela) to illustrate why some governments survive while others collapse. Focusing on political parties and the military as key players in the 'democracy game', he sheds light on the pathways by which new democracies slide all too often from founding elections to polarization and breakdown. This title offers a novel explanation for the coups and rebellions that prevent most democracies from becoming consolidated.
Jay Ulfelder works for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as director of research for the Political Instability Task Force.