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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Among many aspects to the question of whether democracy is exportable, this contribution focuses on the role of the people, understood not as a unitary actor but as a heterogeneous set: the citizens. The people matter, in a different way, both in the countries to which democracy might be exported and in the democratic countries in which the question is about promoting democracy elsewhere. The mechanisms or characteristics involved in the discussion include yardstick competition, differences among citizens in the intensity of their preferences, differences among autocracies regarding intrusion into private life, citizens’ assessments of future regime change, and responsiveness of elected incumbents to the views of minorities. The second part of the contribution explains why promotion of democracy is more likely to work through citizens’ concern with human rights abuses than with regime characteristics.

Keywords: democratization, democracy promotion, preference intensity, popular support of autocracies, yardstick competition, human rights abuses.

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