Policy paradigms and path dependence in democratic de-consolidation

This paper locates how democratic backsliding paths combine political beliefs and technical knowledge that engender governance paradigms that subvert democratic values. We identify structural similarities between the backsliding pathways between India and a set of other jurisdictions like Hungary and Poland. Thereafter, we draw on comparative historical institutionalism to show how a set of path-dependent and policy-driven endogenous processes we term as drift, layering, and displacement characterize some of these paths away from democratic consolidation. The project advances the literature by demonstrating how a combination of policy and legal change, along with ideas and political beliefs leads to distinct pathways toward democratic de-consolidation.