It deals with two ideas. It is a reaction against the determinism of the other two schools, understood as if certain Conditions are presented, fixed consequences are inevitable. Agency over structure. Importance in focus the Motives and circumstances that trigger industrialisation and modernisation, including the consideration of Individual actors. Potential danger: overestimate the importance of the role of individuals over large social groups.
Criticism: Transitology’s voluntarism, accused of thinking that the future of a country is just a matter of political Will. Structure does matter, and a country would not be a democracy just because the population acts Democratically.
RUSTOW: “Transitions to democracy: Towards a dynamic model”.
He says existing literature does not help him to answer the question of how is democracy born. He analyses in a Cynical way the previous “unhelpful” works on experts of the matter which develop different perspective on the Conditions to a stable democracy to thrive.
Martin Lipset: Fixed characteristic end necessarily in a Stable democracy. Believe that democracy depends On background conditions.
Barrington Moore: Believes that democracy depends on the values of society.
Dahl: Democracy depends on institution’s behaviour. Favourable political culture for the population to
share democratic values. But do democrats create democracy or does democracy creates democrats? Conclusion: democracy is a learning process.
These are functional questions over socioeconomic aspects. But Rustow thinks that functional answers to these Questions are not helpful to describe a realistic reality.
Rustow’s approach is oriented towards genesis. What can help to solve the democratic mystery are genetic Questions (from genesis, the origin). According to this, he sums up his method of transitology in 7 statements:
The factor that keeps democracy stable may not be the one that brought it into existence. Whatever the Factors which makes a democracy arise, are not the same ones that allow it to survive.
Correlation is not the same as causation. There is a correlation between democracy and background Conditions, but correlation does not mean cause.
Not all causal links flow from economic and social political factors. Rustow agrees that economical growth And values can impulse democracy as democracy can impulse them too. In terms of causation, which is What interests transitology, not all social links run from socio-economic to political; as well as not all causes Run from beliefs into actions. In both cases, it can be the other way around.
Not all causal links run from beliefs and attitudes to actions. Rustow thinks there is a very dangerous Assumption in society: that you have to promote democracy to generate democrats, as people do not Embrace democracy for itself. People accept democracy as a second best, that will offer them better living Conditions, dignity, wealth, human rights, or other economic and social benefits.
The genesis of democracy may not be geographically uniform (many roads).
The genesis of democracy may not need to be temporally uniform (many different factors).
The genesis of democracy may not need to be socially uniform (different social groups may have different