The first phase of the CCC model uses system functionalism to describe the antecedent authoritarian regime and its basis of power and authority. Six structural factors are examined here:

The socioeconomic structure—the nature of the economy and social structure during the Phase I period, establishing the country’s level of development and capacity for growth.

The international environment—pressures for authoritarianism or democratization stemming from the international system, dependency on another country or political-military bloc for security and economic well-being.

The political culture—the subjective political competence of citizens and the bases of popular support for the regime (levels of trust or disaffection, historical origins of mass affective orientations toward political authorities and institutions).

Political groups and alignments—the extent to which cleavages based on religion, ethnicity, region, or class exist and are politicized and the ways in which the major political groups and patterns of alignment among them reflect such cleavages.

The political structure and performance of the regime—its degree of authoritarianism, capacity for adaptive change, and performance in terms of economic growth and living standards.

The ruling coalition—its composition, its leaders’ styles, and beliefs among elites hindering its adaptation to changing conditions.