Aynura ELEBAEVA, Margarita PUKHOVA

Aynura Elebaeva, D.Sc. (Philos.), professor, department head at the Academy of Administration under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Margarita Pukhova, Ph.D. (Hist.), associate professor at the Institute of Integration of International Educational Programs of the Kyrgyz National University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Since the early 1970s, those studying the transformation processes in totalitarian and authoritarian regimes have been busy identifying the features found in all transition models and the factors determining the trends and rates of democratic changes. Western political scientists (D. Rostow, F. Schmitter, ODonnell, S. Huntington, and others) who have been working on the theory of democratic transition regarded the political process as common to all societies and insisted that all transition states would go through the same stages: preparatory (liberalization), decision-making (democratization), and acceptance (socialization).

At the preparatory stage, political forces clash: the new elite mobilizes all the social strata dissatisfied with the old regime to carry out concerted actions that lead to a protracted and bitter political struggle. Political forces rally around two opposing banners. Instability is an inevitable result, and economic and social crises follow suit. There are no attempts to set up a democratic regime at the first stage; it produces a technically democratic order (a so-called paternalist democracy). In the absence of a strong opposition, an authoritarian regime may survive for a long time. At the second stage, the main political forces achieve a compromise, which makes it possible to destroy the authoritarian order and set up democratic institutions in its stead. As members of the new parliamentary institutions, the opposition has the..

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