Structuralist transformation approaches were first developed by neo-Marxist critics dissatisfied with classic modernization theory. Rather than assuming a universal path to democracy that all countries eventually follow, structuralist explanations view democratization as merely one possible outcome of more fundamental changes in a society’s class and power relations. After discussing Barrington Moore’s early attempt to identify the social origins of dictatorship and democracy, this chapter turns to the role of the state and international power relations. World-system and dependency theory link the emergence of bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes in newly industrialized countries to their late integration into the capitalist world economy. Dependent development changes the nature of class relations and the outlook of the bourgeoisie thereby hampering democracy. Yet the chapter continues to show that the final push for democratic inclusion has typically been by the working class. Finally, a synthesis of different structuralist arguments and Vanhanen’s Index of Power Resources are presented.
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