Democratic Triumph, Scholarly Pessimism

Issue Date January 2010
Volume 21
Issue 1
Page Numbers 160-167
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By any measure, democratization has achieved remarkable advances over the past twenty years. Why, then, have so many of the leading works written on the topic during this period been so full of gloom?

Books Reviewed:

  • The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. By Sameul P Huntington
  • The End of History and the Last Man. By Francis Fukuyama
  • Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. By Robert D Putnam
  • Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe. By Juan J. Linz and Alfred C. Stepan
  • Competitive Authoritarianism: International Linkage, Organizational Power, and the Fate of Hybrid Regimes. By Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way

About the Author

Bruce Gilley is professor of political science at Portland State University. His works include The Right to Rule: How States Win and Lose Legitimacy (2009) and The Nature of Asian Politics (2014).

View all work by Bruce Gilley