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International electoral assistance

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We now live in a historical period characterized by a global “wave of democratization.” We can debate whether it constitutes a “third” or rather a “fourth” wave in the modern era, but there's no denying that the number of nations adopting democratic institutions and procedures in recent years has grown considerably. It may be that for the first time in history a majority of the world's population lives under a political regime we can cautiously call “democratic.” Of course, the transition from autocracy or anarchy to democracy, and the consolidation of democratic institutions, depends largely on factors internal to each polity. “Transitologists” have identified some of these factors, but there's little consensus yet over their relative importance and interplay. But these factors are also linked to influences from the international context. Some believe, for example, that the current wave of democratization represents merely a “contagion” passing from one country to another.

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