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Democratization and the Mischief of Faction

Benjamin R. Cole
Democratization and the Mischief of Faction
ISBN: 978-1-62637-731-8
ISBN: 978-1-62637-736-3
2018/215 pages/LC: 2018005764
"[An] important book." —Choice


Why do new democracies succeed in some cases and struggle, backslide, or revert entirely to autocracy in others? What are the specific policies and practices at play? To answer these questions, Benjamin Cole turns to James Madison's "mischief of faction," drawing on a broad array of detailed case studies to demonstrate that factionalism is the most powerful predictor of adverse regime change and state failure in emerging democracies—and an existential threat to mature democracies, including the United States.


Benjamin R. Cole is assistant professor of political science and international relations at Simmons College.


  • Democratization and the Mischief of Faction.
  • Factionalism in the Post–World War II World.
  • Avoiding Factionalism: Senegal, Taiwan, Uruguay.
  • Persistent Factionalism: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Zimbabwe.
  • Overcoming Factionalism: Chile, Comoros, Estonia, Tunisia.
  • Factionalism and Autocratization: Belarus, Central African Republic, Egypt, Thailand.
  • Managing the Mischief of Faction.
  • Appendix: The Societal-Systems Process Model.