Edited by Douglas Chalmers and Scott Mainwaring
What are the consequences of different paths toward democracy? How can religion support democratic diversity? And what ongoing dilemmas do democratic governments face in reining in the armed forces that once ruled? The original essays in Problems Confronting Contemporary Democracies investigate these and other questions, which Alfred Stepan addressed in his pioneering work as one of the most prominent comparative political scientists of the past four decades. The contributors, who came together at a conference in Stepan’s honor at Columbia University in 2007, pay tribute to his work and illuminate some of the debates he launched, while advancing understanding of problems facing democracies around the world.
The essays in Problems Confronting Contemporary Democracies demonstrate the substantive, geographic, and methodological range of Stepan’s work by building on many of his major scholarly contributions. Principal themes include authoritarianism, the breakdown of democratic regimes, transitions from authoritarianism to democracy, democratic consolidation, the role of the military in politics, and ways—including the varieties of federalism—to manage conflict democratically in societies that are divided by religious, ethnic, and national cleavages. The contributions range from Latin America to the post-Soviet regions, Iran, China, Turkey, Israel, Spain and Portugal, and the United States. This volume will appeal to students and scholars of political science, sociology, and international studies, particularly Latin American and Middle Eastern studies.
Contributors: Scott Mainwaring, Douglas Chalmers, J. Samuel Fitch, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Mark Ungar, László Bruszt, Robert M. Fishman, Mirjam Künkler, Ryan E. Carlin, Cecilia Martínez-Gallardo, Jonathan Hartlyn, Juan J. Linz, Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Ashley Esarey, Edward L. Gibson, Shamil Midkhatovich Yenikeyeff, Brian H. Smith, Murat Akan, Hanna Lerner
“Through critical and enthusiastic engagement with the wide-ranging contributions of Alfred Stepan, a leading agenda setter in comparative social science for the last forty years, the contributors offer cutting-edge essays on the most pressing problems facing democracies across the world today. The geographical scope of the volume, like the work of Stepan itself, is especially impressive, as is its cross-generational coalition of contributors that includes very distinguished senior scholars and ‘scholar-politicians’ as well as some promising younger scholars who are now starting to make their mark in the field.” — Richard Snyder, Brown University
“A revisiting of Stepanian themes—democracy and its links with the military, the state, federalism, and religion—that explores and develops Stepan’s original insights and suggests new avenues for research. This is comparative politics with a sense of purpose. It is a rightful recognition of a scholar who challenges us to think big and search for ways to make democracy work.” — Gerardo Munck,University of Southern California
“This rich collection of essays reflects the wide sweep of theoretical and geographical research interests and accomplishments of Alfred Stepan. Stepan’s pioneering ideas and probing questions have inspired and supported social science colleagues and students for over four decades in the search for ways to construct more peaceful, tolerant, and democratic societies. These fine essays provide some of the answers discovered in this ongoing search, and they point the way forward in the research agenda.” — Evelyne Huber, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
“For the past half-century Alfred Stepan has been one of the world’s most innovative and influential scholars in the field of comparative politics. . . . Stepan’s distinction as a comparativist has now been marked by an excellent volume in his honour, edited by Scott Mainwaring and Douglas Chalmers. In order to give the book intellectual coherence the editors limit the contributions to an examination of the problems confronting contemporary democracies.” — Government and Opposition