Twenty-Five Years, Fifteen Findings

Issue Date January 2010
Volume 21
Issue 1
Page Numbers 17-28
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A coauthor of the pathbreaking study Transitions from Authoritarian Rule reflects on the lessons that he has learned about democratic transition and consolidation since the publication of that work nearly 25 years ago. Among Schmitter’s “fifteen findings”: Democratization has proven far easier to accomplish in the contemporary historical context than the author had at first thought it would be; really existing democracy has been disappointing to both its intended beneficiaries and to academics; and despite the neoliberal enthusiasm for privatization and globalization, democratization continues to rely on the state.

About the Author

Philippe C. Schmitter, professor emeritus in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, previously taught at the University of Chicago and Stanford University. He is the coeditor (with Guillermo O’Donnell and Laurence Whitehead) of the seminal four-volume series Transitions from Authoritarian Rule.

View all work by Philippe C. Schmitter