In addition to the reform pressures from international actors and powerful states as a culprit to the sustenance of the third-wave, which transpired from the 1970s through to the 1990s, Huntington cites that the “demonstration effect” is an important factor for explaining the breadth of the third wave.
Diamond consolidating the third wave democracies v 2
The phrase however, has come under criticism, largely by those who stress that so called democratic transitions are little more than transitions to semi-authoritarian rule, as demanded by the international realities of a post-cold war world.
International structural factors during the 1970s were cited by Huntington as the causal sources for initiating the Third-Wave. membership has also functioned to inspire democratic changes in a number of former Soviet satellites, including Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
To Huntington the transition was based on elite choice, perception, beliefs and actions, while subsequent consolidation was based on elite pacts and consensus.
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Secondly, by the mid-1970s, the United States began to reformulate its foreign policy.