Date on Senior Honors Thesis


Document Type

Senior Honors Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science

Degree Program

College of Arts and Sciences

Author's Keywords

democracy; democratic peace theory; democratization; regime change; consolidation


The objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between previous regime and democratization success to evaluate the impact of prior government system on a country’s transition to a democratic system of government. I use the Polity Project IV Democracy values for countries that democratized between 1978 and 2000 and identify the type of government as presidential or parliamentary to facilitate a bivariate analysis of democracy score and type of government prior to democratization. The chi-square test found the correlation to be statistically significant and I used case studies to show implications of unconsolidated democracies on the Democratic Peace Theory. I conclude with a discussion of how future research could improve upon my findings.

Lay Summary

The purpose of this study is to see if there is a connection between the type of government a country had before it transitioned to a democracy and how well the country was able to transition to a democracy. I use a database of democracy scores and identify the type of government a country had before democratic transition to see whether countries with a certain type of government were able to have a more successful transition. I discuss what my findings mean for the Democratic Peace Theory and include relevant case studies. I end with suggestions on how future research could improve on my study.