In this article we argue that democratic transitions can reverse, oscillate, or simply stall. These transitions are exemplified in the different types of states we categorize. We construct a model of stability vs openness using three dimensions of stateness, namely authority, legitimacy, and capacity. With the additional application of a six-fold typology of states, we offer a robust analytical framework with which to identify and explain changes in state status. Our construct of stability and openness leads to a novel development of a global conflict damage index, which is built upon conflict risk, but considers a state’s capacity to deal with conflict. The paper concludes with implications for policy and the application of the model to conflict prediction when states under go transition.

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Keywords Backsliding, Conflict, Democracy, Development, Early warning, Fragile states, Stability
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Journal Democracy and Security
Carment, D, Tikuisis, P. (Peter), Calleja, R. (Rachael), & Haichin, M. (Mark). (2018). Backsliding and Reversal: The J Curve Revisited. Democracy and Security. doi:10.1080/17419166.2018.1517334