Inequality and democratization: An elite-competition approach

Ben W. Ansell, David J. Samuels

Research output: Book/ReportBook

161 Scopus citations


Research on the economic origins of democracy and dictatorship has shifted away from the impact of growth and turned toward the question of how different patterns of growth - equal or unequal - shape regime change. This book offers a new theory of the historical relationship between economic modernization and the emergence of democracy on a global scale, focusing on the effects of land and income inequality. Contrary to most mainstream arguments, Ben W. Ansell and David J. Samuels suggest that democracy is more likely to emerge when rising, yet politically disenfranchised, groups demand more influence because they have more to lose, rather than when threats of redistribution to elite interests are low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages229
ISBN (Electronic)9780511843686
ISBN (Print)9781107000360
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Ben W. Ansell and David J. Samuels 2014.


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