Ties that Bind? International Linkage and Competitive Authoritarian Regime Change in Africa, Latin America, and Postcommunist Eu

Date Presented:

Aug 27, 2003


Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA, August 27–30, 2003. The authors thank Alicia Llosa, Peter Schwartzstein, Hillel Soifer, and Jonathan Taylor for their assistance in carrying out the research for this paper.

The post–Cold War literature on regime change has drawn considerable attention to the "international dimension" of democratization (Whitehead 1996a). Whereas the dominant literature on democratization during the 1980s downplayed the importance of international factors (O?Donnell and Schmitter 1986), these factors are now widely seen to have played an important – and even decisive – role in shaping post–Cold War regime outcomes (Huntington 1991; Starr 1991; Whitehead 1996a; Kopstein and Reilly 2000). Thus, scholars have highlighted the democratizing impact of the diffusion of democratic norms and institutions, the globalization of new technologies such as the internet, the increased propensity of the U.S. and other Western powers to encourage democracy abroad, the unprecedented use of political conditionality, the spread of transnational human rights and democracy networks, and an emerging international infrastructure of democracy promotion andelectoral observation.