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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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Regime Diffusion

Regime Diffusion

(p.615) Chapter 69 Regime Diffusion
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation

Hans-Joachim Lauth

Oxford University Press

While, initially, transformation research looked more closely at the endogenous causes, additional exogenous explanatory factors were introduced later, with a distinction drawn between intended and unintended actions from outside. The latter perspective is the basis of diffusion research. This chapter contains the definition, concepts, and categories of diffusion research. Possibilities of diffusion are treated by taking reference to an S-model in which the different recipients and extent of diffusion are divided into five phases. The discussion of theories of diffusion focuses mainly on the theory of homophily. These general reflections are transferred to the analysis of democracy diffusion before empirical findings in democracy diffusion are presented and interpreted. The results underscore that a convincing research approach requires an integrated perspective of internal and external factors. There is no question of whether diffusion is effective in processes of democratization and transformation, but how it is effective.

Keywords:   diffusion of democracy, homophily, domino effect, diffusion processes, diffusion theory

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