Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term transition is one of several used in research on the transformation of political regimes. Other competing terms include transformation, regime change, system change , and democratization . These terms not only are closely related to each other but also overlap in meaning; however, they are not identical in their meaning. Moreover, they all have specific connotations and are often linked to particular theoretical concepts or even reflect ideological biases. The term transition was first used in political science by Dankwart Rustow in his 1970 article “Transitions to Democracy.” However, it was not until 1986 that the term was transformed into a more coherent theoretical concept by the seminal 1986 work of Guillermo O'Donnell, Philippe C. Schmitter, and Laurence Whitehead. They defined transition as “the interval between one political regime and another” (p. 6). Transitions are limited in time: on the one hand by the dissolution of an to ...