The received wisdom among scholars and policymakers generally maintains that an extensive history of democracy bodes well for democratization. This study explores its antithesis, and contends that over time democracy creates and empowers its own adversaries, whereas authoritarian regimes leave behind legacies that are conducive to the peaceful and democratic resolution of domestic political conflict. First, by proliferating and strengthening organized interests, the historically accumulated stock of democratic experiences - the "stock of democracy" - augments the stakes and intensity of the competition for political power, which in turn radicalizes competing collective actors. Furthermore, by eliminating and weakening opposition groups, an extensive authoritarian history, which amounts to a greater "stock of dictatorship", mitigates the competitive struggle for political power, thereby fostering moderation among the societal actors that survived its onslaught. Kastart tests these claims through an empirical focus upon 952 societal actors in twenty Latin American countries (1944-2010).
Wynand is a political scientist specializing in Comparative Politics and Quantitative Methodology. He studies regime legacies through the lens of comparative democratization, contentious politics, and public opinion, with an empirical focus on Latin America. The basic undercurrent of his research holds that over time democracy creates and empowers its own adversaries, whereas authoritarian regimes leave behind legacies that are conducive to the peaceful and democratic resolution of domestic political conflict. Wynand obtained his Ph.D. from Indiana University Bloomington (August 2019). He is currently serving as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine.
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