In the second half of the 1990s, a counterreaction emerged to the heady enthusiasm about democracy and democracy promotion that flourished during the peak years of democracy’s “third wave” in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Believing that the global democratic wave had been oversold, several policy experts and scholars produced a series of influential articles articulating a pessimistic, cautionary view. Fareed Zakaria, alarmed by what he saw as a dangerous rash of newly elected leaders restricting rights and abusing power from Peru and Argentina to the Philippines and Kazakhstan, warned that rapid democratization was producing a plague of “illiberal democracy.”1 Troubled by violent conflicts breaking out in former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, and elsewhere, Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder argued that democratizing states are in fact more conflict-prone than stable autocracies.2 Disturbed by the specter of ethnic conflict in different parts of Asia, Amy Chua asserted that the simultaneous pursuit of democracy and market reform in countries with “market-dominant minorities” leads to ethnic conflict and antimarket backlashes.3

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