By Lucan Way

Why do some countries that lack preconditions for democracy nevertheless see the rise of democratic political competition? Pluralism by Default explores the sources of political contestation in the former Soviet Union and beyond. Lucan Way, a leading authority on democratization, proposes that pluralism in new democracies is often grounded less in democratic leadership, an emerging civil society or people power and more in the failure of authoritarianism. Dynamic competition ?including electoral turnovers or independent media frequently emerges because autocrats lack the state capacity or organization to steal elections, impose censorship, or repress opposition. In fact, the same institutional failures that facilitate political competition may also thwart the development of stable democracy.


About the Author

Lucan Way is a professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. Way’s research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism in the former Soviet Union and the developing world. His book, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Steven Levitsky), was published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. Way’s work competitive authoritarianism have been cited thousands of times and helped stimulate new and wide-ranging research into the dynamics of hybrid democratic-authoritarian rule. He is Co-Director of the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine and is Co-Chair of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Democracy.