The international dimension of democratization: testing the parsimonious approach
Title: The international dimension of democratization: testing the parsimonious approach
Author: OBYDENKOVA, Anastassia
Citation: Cambridge review of international affairs, 2007, 20, 3, 473-490
This article examines the importance of the international context on regime change. It provides evidence that geographic proximity to the European Union (EU) does not result in the spread of democracy. In contrast, communication and cooperation between EU actors and sub-national regions contributes significantly to the development of democracy in these regions. Considering the role of EU projects, investments and trade in regime transition-measured through indicators of civil society, political openness, freedom of speech and economic liberalization-this article demonstrates that international context may have a positive influence on the diffusion of democracy at a regional, sub-national level. This finding has substantial implications for the literature on international relations and globalization studies. It suggests that the emergence of 'new' regions through communication and cooperation takes place through two seemingly contradictory but mutually reinforcing processes: regionalization (territorial disintegration/federalization) and integration (through communication and cooperation).
Subject: International relations; Democratization; Globalization; Political change; Political systems; Liberalization; Political communication; Liberalism
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