Friday, November 02, 2007

Can democracy be exported?

Chris Coyne looks at the data in his book, and concludes yes (via Tyler Cowen).
In short, the historical record indicates that efforts to export liberal democracy at gunpoint are more likely to fail than succeed. Of the twenty-five reconstruction efforts, where five years have passed since the end of occupation, seven have achieved the stated benchmark, resulting in a 28 percent success rate. The rate of success stays the same for those cases where ten years have passed. For those efforts where at least fifteen years have passed, nine out of twenty-three have achieved the benchmark for success, resulting in a 39 percent success rate. Finally, of the twenty-two reconstruction efforts where twenty years have passed since the exit of occupiers eight have reached the benchmark, resulting in a 36 percent success rate.
I haven't looked into this much yet, but apparently, the transaction costs are high--it seems that war is prerequisite.

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