Consolidating democracy prerequsites

It locates the consolidation of democracy with the values and attitudes which emerge with, and work to sustain, participatory democratic institutions relate to the manner in which people within a polity view their relationships with others vis a vis their own interests.Since the "third wave" of democracy began in 1974, a large number of countries in the world have made transitions to the formal constitutional structures of multiparty democracy.Now the differences are a factor of more than 40, if we compare the richest to the poorest countries in the world. In our research with Simon Johnson we have shown that colonialism has shaped modern inequality in several fundamental, but heterogeneous, ways.

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Other new "democracies" are more shallow, with democracy practiced through reasonably free and fair elections but not in other important institutional arenas.O'Donnell believes that the institutionalization of electoral rules is not the most interesting feature of democratic consolidation.His approach is to compare the formal institutional rules (for example the constitution) with the informal practices of actors.It is the path-dependent outcome of a multitude of historical processes, one of the most important of which has been European colonialism.Retracing our steps 500 years, or back to the verge of this colonial project, we see little inequality and small differences between poor and rich countries (perhaps a factor of four).