To Craft Democracies: An Essay On Democratic Transitions

In This Review

To Craft Democracies: An Essay On Democratic Transitions

By Giuseppe Di Palma
University of California Press, 1990
248 pp.

The topic is the transition to democracy: What are the impediments? How can it be achieved? This essay was completed just before the liberation of eastern Europe, but it could not be more apropos to the process now underway in that region. Writing eloquently and without political science jargon, Di Palma takes us through a sensitive discourse on political craftsmanship. He argues that transferring loyalties to democracy-not just from communist societies, but from others such as military dictatorships in Latin America and right-wing authoritarian regimes-may be less difficult than some believe, provided it is done artfully. This is an optimistic but not Utopian work.

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