Transgovernmental Networks as an Apprenticeship in Democracy? Socialization into Democratic Governance through Cross-national Activities.

2015, International Studies Quarterly 59(1): 59-72 [»].

Does contact with democratic governance make state officials in authoritarian regimes more democratic? While studies of democratic diffusion are built on the inherent assumption that exposure to democratic practices shapes the attitudes of domestic actors toward democracy, scholars of international socialization are more skeptical about such micro-effects. Drawing on insights from sociology and social psychology, I examine what type of cross-national activities can socialize Moroccan state officials into democratic governance. The results of cross-sectional, multivariate regression analyses based on original survey data emphasize that, in authoritarian contexts, transnational linkage manifests the potential to democratize only if it involves practical experience, a condition fulfilled by cooperative exchange within transgovernmental networks, but not by more diffuse types of linkage such as international education and foreign media broadcasting.

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