More than four decades ago, Robert Dahl[1] observed that the most stable democracies[2] emerged in countries where party competition evolved gradually, allowing elites to learn how to work together peacefully and respect the rules of the game. Ideally, this process of habituation occurred in a sovereign nation-state (a polity free from foreign influence or domination), and where the suffrage was limited to these elites at first and gradually expanded to the rest of the population. Dahl cited as examples countries such as the United Kingdom and United States.

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