According to Freedom House, 'partly free' societies account for roughly a quarter of the world's population, across around 60 countries. Such countries pose interesting challenges to researchers: they are not blatantly authoritarian regimes, because they have rather established, competitive elections. Yet their political systems suffer significant democratic deficiencies. What are the conditions for democratic improvement and consolidation? How do societies with some degree of development and democratic opening create free and open regimes? Which types of historical institutions and state-society relations help foster this? What is the role of international actors? Which forms of international engagement enhance the prospects of democratic progress and consolidation, and which hinder it? This book tackles those questions. By homing in on two pivotal countries, Mexico and Turkey, Evren Çelik Wiltse analyses the dynamics of democratic progress and consolidation from a comparative historical perspective.