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The global trend that Samuel P. Huntington has dubbed the "third wave" of democratization has seen more than 60 countries experience democratic transitions since 1974. While these countries have succeeded in bringing down authoritarian regimes and replacing them with freely elected governments, few of them can as yet be considered stable democracies. Most remain engaged in the struggle to consolidate their new and fragile democratic institutions. Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges that they face.
In addition to the complete hardcover edition, Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies is available in two paperback volumes, each introduced by the editors and organized for convenient course use. The first paperback volume, Themes and Perspectives, addresses issues of institutional design, civil-military relations, civil society, and economic development. It brings together some of the world's foremost scholars of democratization, including Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Juan J. Linz, Guillermo O'Donnell, Adam Przeworski, Philippe C. Schmitter, and Alfred Stepan. The second paperback volume, Regional Challenges, focuses on developments in Southern Europe, Latin America, Russia, and East Asia, particularly Taiwan and China. It contains essays by leading regional experts, including Yun-han Chu, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, Thomas B. Gold, Michael McFaul, Andrew J. Nathan, and Hung-mao Tien.