Abstract

It has long been argued that the end of the 20th century marked the triumph of liberal democracy. The third wave of democracy has increased the number of democracies in the world unprecedentedly and gave hope to many that democratic revolution is underway. However, in the last decade, this democratization process seems to have halted; there has been decline both in the number and quality of democracies. This thesis proposes an agent-based theory of democratic backsliding. More specifically, it is argued that leaders with undemocratic normative preferences and their ability to mobilize previously persecuted segments of society are the driving factors behind the present-day authoritarian resurgence. While the leader's fight with the oppressors of the marginalized group can bring a short-term of democratization, we argue that the unconditional support given by the marginalized group to the leader can allow the leader to undermine democracy by removing the checks on his power. The paper attempts to investigate similarities in the process of democratic derogation in a comparative case study of Venezuela and Turkey. The study shows that the support given to Erdogan and Chavez by the previously persecuted groups in their respective countries, religious/conservatives in Turkey and poor in Venezuela, allowed both leaders to undermine democracy in a subtle and incremental way.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2018

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Ash, Konstantin

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007155

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007155

Language

English

Release Date

August 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

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