January 30, 2013

Democracy Expert Alfred Stepan Celebrated in New Kellogg Series Book

A new volume edited by Kellogg Faculty Fellow Scott Mainwaring and Douglas Chalmers celebrates the pioneering work of Alfred Stepan ’58, one of the most prominent comparative political scientists of the past four decades.

Problems Confronting Contemporary Democracies: Essays in Honor of Alfred StepanProblems Confronting Contemporary Democracies: Essays in Honor of Alfred Stepan appears in the Kellogg Institute’s book series with the University of Notre Dame Press.

“This volume builds on Stepan's outstanding seminal contributions—on democratic breakdowns, the military, the state, democratic transitions, federalism, religion, and democracy in multinational states,” says Mainwaring.

Originating in a conference in Stepan’s honor at Columbia University, the book’s essays illuminate and advance some of the debates he launched, exploring questions such as:

Contributors demonstrate the substantive, geographic, and methodological range of Stepan’s work by building on many of his major scholarly contributions. They examine cases ranging from Latin America to the post-Soviet regions to Iran, China, Turkey, Israel, Spain and Portugal, and the United States.

In addition to Mainwaring and Chalmers, who is professor emeritus of political science at Columbia University, contributors include Kellogg Faculty Fellow Robert M. Fishman, former Visiting Fellow Cecilia Martínez-Gallardo, scholars Edward L. Gibson, Jonathan Hartlyn, and Juan J. Linz, and sociologist and former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Reviews:
“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.”
Evelyne Huber, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“Through critical and enthusiastic engagement with the wide-ranging contributions of Alfred Stepan, 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.”
Richard Snyder, Brown University