The Formation and Development of Liberal Democracies

Carles Boix, Will Horne, Alex Kerchner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We examine the modern spread of liberal democracy, a phenomenon that was accompanied by unprecedented levels of economic development. We outline two differing accounts of the relationship between the two: One in which democratization is driven primarily by changes in normative beliefs, and another in which changes in payoffs to political actors produce democracy as a political equilibrium. The relationship between democracy and development is examined with updated panel data, covering a period from the early nineteenth century through the first decade of the twenty-first century. The analysis demonstrates a positive impact of economic development on subsequent democratic transitions, but no apparent effect of democracy on subsequent economic growth. We conclude by discussing the current literature and potential directions for research, including recent efforts to ascertain the preferences of political elites towards democracy more precisely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Political Representation in Liberal Democracies
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780198825081
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Democratic breakdowns
  • Democratic transitions
  • Democratization
  • Development
  • Liberal democracy
  • Political economy


Dive into the research topics of 'The Formation and Development of Liberal Democracies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this