External factors of democratization are variables on the international level which are assumed to influence democratization within countries. It is plausible to describe some of these factors as relational concepts. From this relational perspective, methods of social network analysis can contribute to the understanding of changes in the level of democracy in countries around the globe.

First, the terms regime, democracy, and democratization are clarified. Second, explanations of democratization are presented as internal and external factors. Third, the basic ideas and principles behind the quantitative analysis of social networks are sketched. Fourth, a list of external factors of democratization with a genuine relational character is identified and discussed. Fifth, the possibility to analyze relational external factors using methods from social network analysis is outlined.