Why Are Some Countries More Democratic Than Others?


Some countries are stably democratic, and their citizens enjoy individual rights, political freedoms, and the ability to have a say in at least some of the decisions that affect their lives. In other countries, citizens have few of those rights and suffer under arbitrary or oppressive regimes. How can we explain those differences? In this event, five senior Political Science students will discuss research projects that addressed this question. They examine a number of different possible explanations - focusing on cultural and historical factors, religious institutions, the role of political leaders, the behavior of citizens, and the nature of transition out of autocracy - and also a variety of countries, including countries in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America. Participants include Alexander Ault, Laura Bresnahan, Perry Cole, Thomas Schrage, and Jasmina Vazjovic. Moderated by Ellen Carnaghan.

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