Abstract: The stability of socio-political systems and the risks of destabilisation in the process of political transformation are among the most important issues of social development; the transition to democracy may pose a serious threat to the stability of a respective socio-political system. This article studies the issue of democratisation. It highlights the high economic and social costs of a rapid transition to democracy for countries unprepared for it—democracy resulting from revolutions or similar large-scale events. The authors believe that in a number of cases authoritarian regimes turn out to be more effective in economic and social terms than emerging democracies, especially those of a revolutionary type, which are often incapable of ensuring social order and may have a swing to authoritarianism. Effective authoritarian regimes can also be a suitable form of transition to an efficient and stable democracy. Using historical and contemporary examples, particularly the recent events in Egypt, the article investigates various correlations between revolutionary events and the possibility of establishing democracy in a society.

Keywords: democracy, revolution, extremists, counterrevolution, Islamists, authoritarianism, military takeover, economic efficiency, globalisation, Egypt