Dados is one of the most widely-read social sciences journals in Latin America. Created in 1966, it publishes innovative works, originating from academic research, by Brazilian and foreign authors. Edited by IESP-UERJ, it aims to reconcile scientific rigor and academic excellence with an emphasis on public debate based on the analysis of substantive issues of society and politics.
The main question that this theoretical paper raises is how to analyze the cases of democratic consolidation in Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece), characterized by some commonalities and a great deal of diversities. Definitions of the two terms - democracy and consolidation - are first discussed. Particularly, consolidation is defined within its "semantic field"; that is, it is defined at the same time as "transition", "installation", "persistence", and "reconsolidation". Contiguous concepts, such as "encapsulation", "structuration", and "institutionalization", are also considered. Second, two dimensions of democratic consolidation are suggested to be the most meaningful ones: legitimation of political institutions, on the one hand, and, on the other, the self-strengthening of the main political actors during the process and, in this way, of some forms and the extent of political control over civil society. Therefore, the next necessary step is to suggest what can be the best empirical indicators in analyzing the two dimensions more closely. Third, if crossed with one another, the two dimensions - legitimation and control - suggest what different paths to consolidation might have been taken in the four cases under scrutiny.Consolidações Democráticas na Europa Meridional. Indicações Teóricas para Análise Empírica