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  • Writer's picturegaborscheiring

Popular Politics and the Path to Durable Democracy

Happy to share my review of Ali Kadivar's excellent book on the social foundations of democracies, just out in the American Journal of Sociology.


From Seymour Lipset to Stein Rokkan, sociologists were central in establishing the discipline of comparative politics, studying regime change. However, if you attend any conference today on democracy, you will hear much less about the social fabric of democracies than about its formal dimensions. Sociology has become peripheral in the big debates on the topic, leaving major blind spots in the study of regime change, neglecting the social foundations of democracies. Mohammad Ali Kadivar challenges this institutionalist bent. Popular Politics and the Path to Durable Democracy leverages political sociology and social movements studies to infuse new insights into democracy studies. The book’s central research question is a classic: why do some new democracies survive while others fail? Kadivar contends that democracies arising from prolonged protest mobilization are more likely to endure and advance in democratic quality than those born during periods of inactivity solely relying on elite institutional designs.

Scheiring, Gabor (2024), Popular Politics and the Path to Durable Democracy by Mohammad Ali Kadivar, American Journal of Sociology, Volume 129, Number 6, May 2024. DOI:


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