Power-sharing and democratic development: nested analysis of political institutions in third-wave democracies
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The third wave of democratization drastically changed the world map of politics and raises a puzzle for institutionalists in comparative politics: how do political institutions play a role during the process of democratization? Previous institutional studies in Western advanced industrial democracies show that power-sharing oriented democracies, which Lijphart calls "consensus democracy" (1999), are "kinder and gentler." This research extends the Lijphartian framework to third-wave democracies, probing whether the level of power-sharing facilitates democratic development in those new democracies. Using a mixed strategy of nest analysis (Lieberman 2005), I first conducted large-N regression models to illustrate the relationship between the level of power-sharing and the democratic development in the third-wave democracies; then I used concrete cases to demonstrate the mechanisms of power-sharing institutions. My regression models show that power-sharing institutions generally facilitate democratic development in the third-wave democracies. The effects of power-sharing institutions are well illustrated in countries such as Kenya and Benin. However, my case studies on Mongolian and Thai democracies indicate that the power of political institutions in promoting democratic development is limited. Democratization is a multifaceted phenomenon and political institutions are not the sole force that drives democratic progress.