Catalogue


To craft democracies : an essay on democratic transitions /
Giuseppe Di Palma.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1990.
description
xii, 248 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520072138 (alk. paper) 0520072146 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1990.
isbn
0520072138 (alk. paper) 0520072146 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
1848450
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [201]-241) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Giuseppe Di Palma is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Giuseppe Di Palma's book could not be more timely, given the snowballing events that are gaining momentum in Eastern and Western Europe. . . . It represents a truly fresh look at the red-hot issue of transitions to democracy."--Joseph LaPalombara, Yale University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-07:
Traditional democratic theory, represented by well-known works such as Robert Dahl's Polyarchy (CH, Feb'72), concentrates on necessary conditions for the emergence and maintenance of democratic governments. Taking a less deterministic approach than Dahl, Di Palma focuses on complex political factors involved in the rise of democracies. "Our blind spots about the role of crafting reflect the penchant of social scientists to consider regime transformation as a kind of black box--interchangeable steps to a foreclosed outcome--rather than open processes of interaction." Di Palma discusses, among other subjects, the politics of transitions, future implications of different kinds of transitions, the politics of consolidation and legitimacy, and the prospects of different countries currently moving toward democracy. Although the book was completed before many of the epochal events in Eastern Europe at the close of 1989, Di Palma's subject is enormously important. Because of this and because he makes stimulating contribution to democratic theory, this volume is recommended for undergraduate and graduate students and for scholars. G. Klosko University of Virginia
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1991
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Is democracy a hot-house plant? Is it difficult to transplant it into new soil? The fall of so many dictatorships in the last few years--first in Southern Europe, then in Latin America, now in Eastern Europe--opens new, more optimistic perspectives on democratic development. The crises of dictatorships and the search for a new political order offer fertile ground for an examination of how best to effect democratic transitions. By focusing on the objective conditions that make democracy probable, sociological and historical theories of democracy often lose sight of what is possible. Here Giuseppe Di Palma instead explores those conciliatory political undertakings that political actors on all sides now engage in to make the improbable possible. His emphasis is on political crafting: in regard to constitutional choices, to alliances and convergences between contestants, to trade-offs, to the pacing of the transitions. Di Palma also examines the reasons--stalemate, the high cost of repression, a loss of goals, international constraints and inducements--that may motivate incumbents and nondemocratic political actors to accept democracy, even in those cases, as in Central America and Eastern Europe, where acceptance would seem least likely. An original and imaginative work that, in the light of recent transitions, challenges our assumptions about fledgling democracies and breaks new theoretical ground,To Craft Democracieswill appeal to anyone interested in the way we forge our political communities today.
Main Description
Is democracy a hot-house plant? Is it difficult to transplant it into new soil? The fall of so many dictatorships in the last few years--first in Southern Europe, then in Latin America, now in Eastern Europe--opens new, more optimistic perspectives on democratic development. The crises of dictatorships and the search for a new political order offer fertile ground for an examination of how best to effect democratic transitions. By focusing on the objective conditions that make democracy probable, sociological and historical theories of democracy often lose sight of what is possible. Here Giuseppe Di Palma instead explores those conciliatory political undertakings that political actors on all sides now engage in to make the improbable possible. His emphasis is on political crafting: in regard to constitutional choices, to alliances and convergences between contestants, to trade-offs, to the pacing of the transitions. Di Palma also examines the reasons--stalemate, the high cost of repression, a loss of goals, international constraints and inducements--that may motivate incumbents and nondemocratic political actors to accept democracy, even in those cases, as in Central America and Eastern Europe, where acceptance would seem least likely. An original and imaginative work that, in the light of recent transitions, challenges our assumptions about fledgling democracies and breaks new theoretical ground, To Craft Democracieswill appeal to anyone interested in the way we forge our political communities today.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Rethinking Some Hard Factsp. 1
On Diffusion: How Democracy Can Grow in Many Soilsp. 14
Why Transferring Loyalties to Democracy May Be Less Difficult Than We Thinkp. 27
How Crafting Can Help the Transfer of Loyaltiesp. 44
Tactics: On How to Sell One's Craftp. 76
Beyond Transitions: Why Democracy Can Deliver on Its Promisesp. 109
Consolidation and Legitimacy: A Minimalist View of Two Big Wordsp. 137
To Craft Which Democracies?p. 156
Democracy by Diffusion, Democracy by Trespassingp. 183
Notesp. 201
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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