by Patrick Appel

Larison maintains his pessimism:

While the last thirty years have seen remarkable advances in the spread of democratic government and liberal political culture, it cannot be stressed enough that many of these advances are still fragile and reversible in many places, and they are also very recent developments that everyone has to acknowledge to be historically atypical.

That doesn’t mean that we should ignore political change, or pretend that democratization always leads to a new form of despotism, but it does mean that we shouldn’t ignore the clear lessons of the dangers that come from democratization-as-shock-therapy when they are clearly relevant. If democratists would like a more up-to-date version of the warning about the potential dangers of rapid democratization and economic liberalization, they can consult World on Fire.

(Map: The Economist)

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