A wave of democratisation swept across the developinng world from the 1980s onwards.  However, despite the momentous transformation that this so-called 'Third Wave' has brought to formal political structures in regions ranging from Africa to Asia to Latin America, only a limited number of countries have succeeded in erstablishing consolidated and functioning democratic regimes.  Instead, many of these new regimes have become stuck in transition, combining a rhetorical acceptance of liberal democracy with essentially illiberal and/or authoritarian traits.  This article analyses the emergence and key characteristics of these 'hybrid regimes' and the challenges of democratic deepening.  

Lise Rakner

Professor at University of Bergen and Affiliated Research Professor

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