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Problems Confronting Contemporary Democracies

Essays in Honor of Alfred Stepan

Douglas Chalmers

Publication Year: 2012

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.

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix

We celebrate Alfred Stepan’s career with these essays from among those presented at a conference in his honor at Columbia University in 2007. Many colleagues came from all parts of the world to discuss his work and demonstrate the fecundity of his contributions. These essays represent a sample, a window...

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pp. 1-23

We have two primary goals and a secondary one with this book. We hope to advance understanding of some of the most pressing problems facing democracies across the world. And we wish to honor Alfred Stepan, who did pioneering work on the issues analyzed here. Finally, by highlighting the...

Part I: The Armed Forces, Police, and Democracy

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Chapter 1: The Armed Forces and Society in Latin America

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pp. 25-66

As a field of scholarly inquiry, the study of civil-military relations analyzes the interactions of the armed forces, the state, and society. However, for nearly three decades students of the Latin American militaries have focused almost exclusively on the military’s relations with the state. Studies of transitions from...

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Chapter 2: Reconciling the Brazilian Military with Democracy

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pp. 67-81

As a personal friend and also as a social scientist and former president of Brazil, I wish to acknowledge and praise the groundbreaking role that Alfred Stepan played in stressing the importance and challenging our understanding of the role played by the military...

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Chapter 3: Managing Citizen Security in Latin America’s Changing States and Societies

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pp. 82-109

Stepan’s work on the broad and complex challenges that have faced Latin America continues to provide a strong foundation of analysis even as those challenges change. One of the most difficult of those current challenges is citizen security. A 41 percent rise in homicides in the 1990s has made Latin...

Part II: The State and Democracy

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Chapter 4: The State of the Market

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pp. 111-136

This chapter revisits three interrelated claims made in Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, the magnum opus of Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan. These claims were about the links between market reforms, state making, and democratization in the context of postcommunist...

Part III: Democratic Transitions and Democratic Regimes

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Chapter 5: Revisiting “Paths toward Redemocratization”

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pp. 139-165

The effort to conceptualize meaningful differences among regime transition scenarios—and to ask whether the contrasts between pathways to political freedom generate divergent consequences for the durability and quality of new democracies—has attracted the interest of numerous social scientists in the decades...

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Chapter 6: Electoral Victory, Political Defeat

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pp. 166-202

The Islamic Republic of Iran presents a puzzle for students of democratic transitions: in four consecutive elections, a democratic-minded opposition won overwhelming majorities at the ballot box. For a period of four years, these electoral victories gave the opposition control of the national legislature, the...

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Chapter 7: Executive Approval under Alternative Democratic Regime Types

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pp. 203-226

Among Alfred Stepan’s many contributions to the study of politics is his work on political institutions and, in particular, his research (in collaboration with Juan J. Linz and Cindy Skach) examining the differences in the institutional frameworks of parliamentarism and presidentialism and their effects...

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Chapter 8: Cautionary and Unorthodox Thoughts about Democracy Today

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pp. 227-252

I write from a disillusioned or at least realistic view of democracy. Some of you might at the end of this believe that I am not totally a bona fide democrat. I certainly do not embrace the National Endowment of Democracy kind of ideology or the one that some American intellectuals and politicians are trying...

Part IV: Federalism and Democracy

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Chapter 9: Holding China Together

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pp. 255-272

There is much debate among Western scholars about whether China will democratize but very little debate about how China should arrange its affairs, institutionally speaking, if the country succeeded in doing so. Due to the many contributions of Alfred Stepan, the political science literature on federalism...

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Chapter 10: Of Swords and Shields

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pp. 273-298

Alfred Stepan has long called for theory building about the relationship between federalism and democracy. As one of the founding fathers of the now-burgeoning field of comparative federalism, Stepan has also generated important theories of his own about this relationship. His insights into how federalism...

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Chapter 11: Oil and the Corporate Reintegration of Russia

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pp. 299-336

Alfred Stepan’s comparative work on federal systems has inspired this study on Russian federalism and the important role corporations could play in shaping center-periphery relations within a federation system.1 Russia’s political and economic transition under the first Russian Presi - dent Boris Yeltsin and his successor...

Part V: Religion, Tolerance, and Democracy

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Chapter 12: Religion, Politics, and the State in a Stepanesque Perspective

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pp. 339-380

Of the many contributions to the study of comparative politics, one of the most insightful and agenda-setting for future research is Al Stepan’s perspective on religion, politics, and the state in the consolidation of democracies. In Arguing Comparative Politics, he challenges some commonly held positions by previous scholars...

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Chapter 13: Twin Tolerations or Siamese Twins?

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pp. 381-423

Political Islam in Turkey has come a long way, from the National Order Party (Milli Nizam Partisi, banned by the Constitutional Court in 1971 for violating laiklik,1 or laicity) to the National Salvation Party (Milli Selamet Partisi, banned by the military Junta in 1980 along with all political parties) to the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi, banned by the Constitutional Court in 1998 for violating laiklik...

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Chapter 14: Consociationalism versus Twin Tolerations

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pp. 424-449

In his well-known article “The World’s Religious Systems and Democracy: Crafting the ‘Twin Tolerations,’” Alfred Stepan provides a theoretical framework for evaluating the democratic relationship between religion and state.1 Based on broad comparative analysis, Stepan defines minimal boundaries of freedom...


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pp. 450-455


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pp. 456-487

E-ISBN-13: 9780268086886
E-ISBN-10: 0268086885
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268023720
Print-ISBN-10: 0268023727

Page Count: 504
Illustrations: 1 halftone; 18 tables
Publication Year: 2012