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.

Backsliding, Conflict, Democracy, Development, Early warning, Fragile states, Stability
Democracy and Security
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

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