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Beatrix Austin and Christine Seifert

This chapter synthesizes the insights of fourteen case studies of regime transitions. We find that on the one hand, a variety of longstanding endogenous structural factors have undermined the overturned regime’s (perceived) legitimacy in many cases. These longue-durée conditions were often complemented by singular events or policies that served as tipping points or windows of opportunity. Second, there are exogenous factors such as foreign military interventions, political openings in neighbouring countries and dissolutions of existing states which also influence the onset and course of regime transitions. Change in everyday life in most cases is not very striking. The cases examined that did result in the most visible advances in human development and the political system did share some characteristics: the occurrence of a strong popular revolution, with diverse and vocal civil society participation. Strong international interference, however, rarely correlated with more beneficial outcomes for the population.

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Edited by Hans-Joachim Giessmann, Roger Mac Ginty, Beatrix Austin and Christine Seifert

What are the main drivers of political transition and regime change? And to what extent do these apparently seismic political changes result in real change? These questions are the focus of this comparative study written by a mix of scholars and practitioners. This state-of-the-art volume identifies patterns in political transitions, but is largely unconvinced that these transitions bring about real change to the underlying structures of society. Patriarchy, land tenure, and economic systems often remain immune to change, despite the headlines.
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Edited by Hans-Joachim Giessmann, Roger Mac Ginty, Beatrix Austin and Christine Seifert