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James C. Franklin, "The Role of Party-Led Dissent in Redemocratization: A Comparative Study," 7 (September 2001), Party Politics, 567-580.

First Paragraph:
Political parties are critically important institutions in democratic political systems. With increased attention to the global phenomenon of democratization, scholars have examined the role of political parties in facilitating the democratization process. However, comparative studies have not analyzed in detail the behavior of political parties in resisting authoritarian rule and pressuring for a return to democracy. This is an important omission, since recent research shows that many parties do actively resist authoritarian rule (Franklin, 1999), taking part in acts of protest or political violence, which collectively are referred to as dissent. This Article attempts to ascertain the impact that political party-led dissent has on the timing of the democrati-zation process. In particular, I analyze the proposition that countries experiencing political party resistance to authoritarian rule will experience a more rapid return to democracy than countries in which parties remain inactive.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Countries in sample
Table 2: Cross-tabulation of participation in dissent and democratization
Table 3: Coding Scheme for elite instability
Table 4: Difference of means results for democratization

Last Paragraph:
Scholars have long argued that political parties play important roles in the development and functioning of a democratic system. This research considers another role of political parties -- helping to re-establish democracy through direct action. An examination of 22 countries that experienced the breakdown of democracy and establishment of an authoritarian regime shows that an early redemocratization did not occur in countries in which party-led dissent was absent. However, political party-led dissent does not always lead to redemocratization, nor should we conclude that the presence of party-led dissent alone leads to redemocratization. Some consideration is given here to other factors that may combine with the presence of party-led dissent in causing authoritarian leaders to relent and allow a return to democracy. These possible factors include the timing of dissent, the level of instability in the authoritarian government, the level of unity in the opposition, and the international politi-cal context. More research focusing on particular cases is necessary to ascer-tain the nature of the impact of party-led dissent on redemocratization. Finally, an important future task is to examine the role of social movement organizations as well as parties in pressuring for a return to democracy.