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Democracies in Danger

, 200 pages

1 line drawing

August 2009
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Democracies in Danger

New governments established during the third wave of democratization in Latin America, Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, and Asia face increasing threats to stabilization and consolidation. Alfred Stepan, a major voice in democratization studies, gathers leading experts in political science and government to better understand what is going wrong and how it can be fixed.

The contributors identify and analyze three key problems that endanger these democracies: ethnonational conflicts, domestic security and the role of police and military, and power sharing in presidential and semi-presidential systems. For each of these issues, essays evaluate promising new policies, advance alternatives, and suggest political reforms that could increase the success of democratic governance.

Stepan's introduction reflects on why these three critical issues have been neglected or misconceptualized by practitioners and theorists alike. A conclusion by Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, offers unique insight on how to successfully manage and solve these problems.

Democracies in Danger is the product of informed and productive dialogue between former prime ministers and presidents of new democracies and leading democratization scholars. It will be essential in setting research agendas and policy discussions for a broad range of scholars and practitioners.

Alfred Stepan is the Wallace Sayre Professor of Government at Columbia University, coauthor, with Juan J. Linz, of Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, and coeditor, also with Juan J. Linz, of The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes, both published by Johns Hopkins.

" Democracies in Danger harnesses cutting-edge research by world-class scholars to the urgent task of designing feasible proposals to make new democracies work better. The result is an invaluable contribution that will be required reading for academics and practitioners alike."

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