Author

Yi-Tzu Lin

Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

John Fuh-sheng Hsieh

Abstract

This dissertation proposes a model of two-stage process of democratization. In the first stage, income inequality is associated with political liberalization, but this association is conditional on economic development. In the second stage, political liberalization is associated with democratization. By looking at 125 authoritarian regimes from 1960 to 2010, I find that in rich countries, high income inequality is associated with low political liberalization, which may stabilize autocratic regimes; while low income inequality is associated with high political liberalization. In poor countries, high income inequality is associated with political liberalization, while low inequality has no effect.

In the second stage, I find that political liberalization, such as electoral component, liberal component, and participatory component of democracy are associated with democratization. These components of democracy may help citizens to develop prodemocracy attitude. This research attempts to extend the understanding of the relationship between income inequality, economic development, and democratization by including political liberalization.

Share

COinS