Gerti Sqapi


Over the last quarter of the century, the transitional paradigm (or the approach of the transition) has been a dominant paradigm that has greatly influenced different studies on democratization. The purpose of this paper, in a general perspective, is to conduct an analysis of the transitional paradigm, assumptions, key concepts, and hypotheses developed thereof, in order to evaluate the validity or at least be able to understand and explain the processes of democratization wave that affected third world countries.  Development of literature and studies within the conceptual framework of this paradigm was mainly conducted during the period of what is known as “the third wave of democratization.” Explanation and direction of change from autocratic to democratic regimes, evident in those countries affected by the third wave, were the main claim of the transition approach.  This paper attempts to investigate the validity of the conceptual framework of this approach with respect to the interpretation (and change of directions) of the democratization processes in these countries.


democratization, transitional paradigm, conceptual stretch, consolidation, regime, structural conditions

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