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Democratic Transitions by [Bitar, Sergio, Lowenthal, eds, Abraham F.]

Democratic Transitions Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 487 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"What makes countries become successful democracies? There is much theoretical literature on the topic, but this book is different and special. It answers the question through interviews with the key players in some of the most important transitions to democracy in recent decades. The result is a fascinating empirical exploration of a vital issue, rich with detail and insights."

(Fareed Zakaria, CNN)

"Democratic Transitions accomplishes a remarkable feat, providing a readable and engaging history of the Third Wave of democratization for general readers and students, while filling in countless important details that specialists will appreciate. The lessons the editors draw from the unique individuals they interviewed provide critical guidelines for future political leaders and for those who want to help build democracies."

(Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University)

"No one is more qualified to provide lessons about how dictatorships have been ended, and democracies constructed in their place, than the political leaders who have actually shaped successful transitions over the past 3 decades. This timely and valuable book shares the experiences, reflections and political learning of 13 such leaders from around the world. It is a 'must read' for anyone who wants to understand the complex processes of democratic transitions or to participate in them effectively."

(Moises Naim, Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Contributing Editor, Atlantic  and El Pais)

"Timely and ambitious, this unique hybrid project combines practical insights for struggling proponents of democratization with important original research geared toward promoting inclusive democratic governance."

(Philip Oxhorn, McGill University)

"The pragmatic wisdom and unique outlook of the experienced political leaders interviewed in Democratic Transitions are critical to the global dialogue on building open, democratic, and sustainable societies. The lessons of their failures and successes can help others to overcome tenacious global challenges, and support democratic transitions of political power."

(Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, and founder and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation for better global governance)

"This book provides impressive insights on how political leaders helped their countries navigate from dictatorships toward democracy. A must-read for future transitions."

(Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile)

"Sergio Bitar and Abraham Lowenthal have done a great job in eliciting from leaders who played crucial roles in the transition from authoritarian to democratic rule in different continents the practical lessons to be drawn from their experience. They emphasize not ‘great men’ or charismatic leaders, but rather the importance of teamwork, inclusivity, coalition-building, and patient persuasion rather than a peremptory maximalism. The leaders and authors are at one in seeing a willingness to compromise, far from being an abandonment of principle, as fundamental to the construction of genuine democracy."

(Archie Brown, author of The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age)

"Democratic Transitions is a balanced, thoughtful, empirically-based volume that adds an important dimension to our understanding of both the theoretical and the policy issues surrounding the spread of democracy abroad. It is a major addition to the literature on post-authoritarian transitions and on the "how-to" of consolidating democracy after dictatorship. In an era of undue pessimism about the fate of democracy worldwide, it is a timely reminder of how democratic transitions can be made to work."

(Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs)

"... In evoking all of these collective distilled experiences from some of the world most successful politicians from recent decades, Bitar and Lowenthal also convey their passion for democracy forcefully, and they enable the college freshman and the scholar to understand better the events and processes that have shaped the world for the better in which we live."


About the Author

Sergio Bitar, president of Chile’s Foundation for Democracy, is a political leader and public intellectual. Abraham F. Lowenthal, professor emeritus of the University of Southern California, was the founding director of the Inter-American Dialogue and the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program.

Product details

  • File Size: 3147 KB
  • Print Length: 487 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press / The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Co-published) (September 3, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 3, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0133T9E1K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,587 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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March 24, 2016
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July 31, 2016
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