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Guillermo O'Donnell and the Study of Democracy

(en español)

Click here for tributes to Guillermo O'Donnell.

Click here for conference program.

ConferenceAcademic Conference

Monday, March 26
Tuesday, March 27

Fundación OSDE Auditorium
Buenos Aires

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies celebrated the immense, forward-looking legacy of its founding academic director, the eminent political scientist Guillermo O’Donnell (1936–2011), with an academic conference focusing on his many contributions to democratization studies and his active engagement in the real world of politics in Latin America.

Convened in O’Donnell’s hometown of Buenos Aires in collaboration with institutional partners in Argentina and the US, the conference brought together many of the most distinguished scholars in Latin American politics and democratization studies. Speakers focused on five themes of study in which O'Donnell made pivotal intellectual contributions and offer reflections on his approach to studying politics.

  • New Takes on Modernization, Authoritarianism, and Democracy

  • New Takes on the Political Economy of Authoritarianism and Democratization

  • Institutions and Democratic Citizenship

  • Delegative Democracy

  • Quality of Democracy

O’Donnell was deeply committed to improving the workings of democracy, the lives of citizens, and the relationship between citizens and their government. Conference participants honored this normative focus by connecting problems of contemporary relevance to O’Donnell’s seminal work.

An edited volume of articles drawn from the conference is planned.

Conference Organizers: Scott Mainwaring (University of Notre Dame), Marcelo Leiras (Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires), and Daniel Brinks (University of Texas, Austin)

With generous financial support from the Ford Foundation, Santiago Office, and the Fundación OSDE

Celebratory Tribute

Scott MainwaringMarch 27, 2012  6:30pm

Fundación OSDE

Following the conference, a memorial tribute and celebratory reception honored Guillermo O’Donnell’s life and work. It also marked the 30th anniversary of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute of International Studies, which he was instrumental in establishing and which carries on his legacy in its research and teaching.

Among those attending were many of the most significant figures in the study and practice of democracy and human development in the region, Notre Dame alumni, and friends of Guillermo O’Donnell and the Kellogg Institute from near and far.

Presented by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Cosponsors: Universidad de San Andrés, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Asociación Nacional de Politólogos (ANAP), Sociedad Argentina de Análisis Político (SAAP), the Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, and the United Nations Development Programme

Additional Events Cosponsored by the Kellogg Institute

Estado, democracia y ciudadanía. Homenaje a Guillermo O'Donnell
March 27, 2012 2:00pm
Universidad de Buenos Aires

Estado y Democracia en America Latina: Reflexiones en torno a los aportes de Guillermo O'Donnell al PNUD
March 28, 2012 11:30am

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The Kellogg Institute promotes scholarship, learning, and linkages that address issues of critical importance to our world. At the center of our interdisciplinary community’s work are two key themes: democratization and human development. 

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