The July 2007 issue of Journal of Democracy showcases a debate on Thomas Carothers’ “The ‘Sequencing’ Fallacy” featuring Edward Mansfield, Jack Snyder, Francis Fukuyama, Sheri Berman, and Carothers. Mansfield and Snyder reassert their view that rapid democratization can be a dangerous recipe for civil or interstate violence. Carothers responds by explaining that Mansfield and Snyder mischaracterize his analysis while failing to address his central assertions: authoritarianism is inherently at odds with democratic state-building and gradually introducing democratic reforms shows greater promise than putting off democracy indefinitely. Fukuyama highlights the tension between violent state-building and the creation of liberal institutions. Rejecting the notion that democratization must follow any particular sequence, Berman emphasizes that today’s successful democracies each followed a unique –and often tumultuous– path. 

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