The Consequences of Democratization

Issue Date April 2009
Volume 20
Issue 2
Page Numbers 123-137
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Since the “Third Wave” of democratic reforms got underway, a set of issues that has largely remained under-researched concerns the broad implications of political reforms: Does democracy come at a cost-be it an increase in violent conflict, slower economic growth, higher inequality, or anything else-or, on the contrary, are there virtuous transformations triggered by democratization? The paper examines some of the theoretical and empirical questions that lay behind the choice of taking democracy not as an endpoint, but as a starting point-a crucial approach for understanding the future prospects of democracy.