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Question Line Reference
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=11045)

The correct answer choice is (B)

The justification for the correct answer can be found on:

(all; Viewstamp)

The answer to this global structure question is already prephrased in our VIEWSTAMP analysis above: The basic idea about democratic reform of authoritarian rule is introduced, three different types of changes are covered and exemplified, and the author concludes by pointing out that all three changes can happen concurrently, and the process can be sped up by early authoritarian success. This prephrase is basically reflected in answer choice (B).
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Hi Powerscore. So, for this questions, I easily eliminated answer choices A, C, and D. I was stuck between B and E. I selected E because the wording that said" a general set of causes".... What do they mean by causes.. I selected E also because the word differences was really attractive on the basis that the 3 reasons presented for what causes the change from authoritative regime to democracy were different from that of a authoritative society.
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Hi kdup,

By "general set of causes" they mean those causes identified in paragraphs 2-4. The author lists possible causes of democratic reform beginning in paragraph 2 where the author offers one cause- changing societal values and norms. In paragraph 3, the author identifies another cause - shifting economic values and in paragraph 4, the author identifies another possible cause- increasing societal voice of various smaller segments.

And you are right that the identification of democratic reform as a political phenomenon is a key here as is the subsequent discussions for the cause of that phenomenon as the three possible causes listen in paragraphs 2-4. This is where the proble with Answer Option (E) truly arises because even if we considered "authoritarian rule" to be the phenomenon referred to in (E), there is nothing "similar" in the democratic reform causation paragraphs to authoritarian rule. That's where (E) starts to fall apart. But it also falls apart when identifying "differences" amongst all the phenomena in the last clause.

Thanks for the great question and I hope this helped.
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I initially crossed out B because of "causal relationship." The passage says "can," so I'm not sure if it's that the degree of certainty doesn't matter because language like "can contribute to" still illustrates a causal relationship?
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 Ryan Twomey
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Hey crispycrisp,

I agree with you that the language "can contribute" was weak in the paragraph you cited, but throughout the passage each of these causes is given stronger language. The passage is essentially describing three reasons or three causes as to why authoritarian regimes give up power. So I think you were a little too focused on the language at the beginning of the first paragraph instead of considering the passage as a whole. The answer choice saying "a political phenomenon is linked to a set of causes" is not enough for us to eliminate that answer; it pretty accurately describes what the passage did. Sure, maybe I would prefer the language in that answer choice said "a political phenomenon is linked to a set of possible causes" but the answer choice not matching up with my perfect rephrase is not enough to eliminate it. The answer choice would have withstood my initial read.

Whereas the other answer choices each have very wrong element such as stating things about similar phenomenon or ranking the importance of the causes.

Maybe dial back your eliminating answer choices based on language just a tad; this is a very fine line and I know that is a challenging line to walk. I hope this helps.


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