Friday, September 19, 2008

Russia and a new democratic realism

Francis Fukuyama

Financial Times, September 2 2008

One idea that you will never hear expressed by either Barack Obama or John McCain in this presidential race is the notion that a chief task of US foreign policy in the next administration will be to gracefully manage an adversely shifting global power balance and significantly diminished US influence. This is not a hypothetical issue, but one that stares us in the face today.

The failure to recognise this shift in power has been all too evident in the events leading up to the Russian intervention in Georgia. Since the Yeltsin years, the US has had a series of policy differences with the Russians, including Nato expansion, the Balkans, missile defence, policy towards Iran and human rights in Russia itself. Diplomacy, such as it was, consisted of persuading Russia to accept all of the items on our list and telling them their fears and concerns were groundless. The US never regarded the relationship as a bargaining situation in which it would give up things it wanted in return for things the Russians wanted. Like the proverbial Englishman speaking to a foreigner, we thought we could make them understand us by repeating ourselves in a louder voice.

This posture by the Bush administration reflected the balance of power that existed in the 1990s, when Russia was weak and had few cards to play. But that has changed. The contrast between Moscow’s intervention in Chechnya in 1994 and Georgia in 2008 is dramatic: much as the US did not like Russian behaviour in crushing Chechen separatism, the Russian military operation was so incompetent that it seemed to set few ominous precedents. Today, all thoughts are on where Russian power will be used next.

If we could roll the clock back to before February when Kosovo declared independence with US support, the elements of a bargain were there. Of the desiderata on the American list, the most expendable were anti-ballistic missile defence and support for Kosovo independence. The former was a pointless irritant to the Russians who never believed the US story that it was a response to a threat from Iran. Kosovo independence does not improve the security of Kosovars, but sets an unhappy precedent of legitimising separatism, which explains why Nato members such as Spain did not back it.

A more difficult choice was Nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine. These democratic countries deserve strong US support. But Angela Merkel, German chancellor, is right in believing that the core of the Nato alliance is its Article V guarantee that an attack on one member should be regarded as an attack on all. This means that the US should be prepared to station forces on a permanent basis to defend any alliance member under threat, as it did on the inter-German border during the cold war. Nato membership is not a talisman that magically confers protection. It requires operational planning and expensive defence commitments.

The Bush administration was not and could not have been serious about Nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine to the extent that it meant providing not just arms and advisers, but real security guarantees of US forces. To the extent that that was so, leading the Georgians on to believe that we would get them into the club soon was a big mistake.

An understanding that may have been possible a year ago is not workable now. The Bush administration has turned Kosovo independence and ABM defence in Poland into faits accomplis, making them unusable as bargaining chips. And rushing to accommodate Moscow while Russian troops are still occupying parts of Georgia proper is unthinkable. In saying this, I do not want to be seen as apologising for Moscow’s behaviour. Russia is not justified in holding on to Georgian territory or trying to overturn a democratically elected regime. Mr Putin’s talk about Georgian “genocide” and US conspiracies is unsettlingly reminiscent of the “big lie” of Soviet times. The fact that Russian feelings of resentment are understandable does not make them morally right.

As Kishore Mahbubani of the National University of Singapore pointed out on this page (August 21), one of the chief ways that US power has been diminished in this decade is in its moral credibility. After the Russian intervention, US officials asserted that “21st century powers don’t violate the sovereignty of other countries to overturn regimes”. Adding the qualifier “in Europe” reduced the snickering only marginally. Democracy promotion – a good thing – has been deeply tainted by its association with the Iraq war and US security interests.

The past two US administrations could assume American hegemony in both economics and security. The next administration cannot, and a critical task will be for it to better balance what we want with what we can realistically achieve.

This does not mean giving up on idealistic goals such as promoting democracy. But the next president will have to “detoxify” (in the phrase of Tom Carothers from the Carnegie Endowment) the very concept of democracy promotion. We will have to think of ways of supporting Georgia and Ukraine other than by new alliance commitments. And we need to plan in concrete terms how to defend existing Nato members – particularly Poland and the Baltic states – from an angry and resurgent Russia.

The writer is professor of international political economy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and, most recently, author of ‘After the Neocons’ (Profile, 2006)

Monday, September 15, 2008

U.S. Religious Landscape Survey

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

Based on interviews with more than 35,000 American adults, this extensive survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details the religious makeup, religious beliefs and practices as well as social and political attitudes of the American public. This online section includes dynamic tools that complement the full report. For a video overview and related material, go to the resource page.



View the religious composition of the United States as well as the size of the different religious groups in the country.
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Maps New Data


See the percentage of each state's population that is affiliated with various religions in the U.S., and explore the religious beliefs and practices of each state's population.
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Portraits New Data


Choose a religious group in the U.S. and examine its demographic characteristics, religious beliefs and practices as well as social and political views.
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Comparisons New Data


Compare the demographic characteristics, religious beliefs and practices as well as social and political views of various religious traditions in the U.S.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Development, Democracy, and Welfare States

Stephan Haggard, Univ. of California, San Diego
Robert R. Kaufman, Rutgers University
Princeton Univ. Press 2008


Introduction [HTML] or [PDF format]

This is the first book to compare the distinctive welfare states of Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe. Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman trace the historical origins of social policy in these regions to crucial political changes in the mid-twentieth century, and show how the legacies of these early choices are influencing welfare reform following democratization and globalization.

After World War II, communist regimes in Eastern Europe adopted wide-ranging socialist entitlements while conservative dictatorships in East Asia sharply limited social security but invested in education. In Latin America, where welfare systems were instituted earlier, unequal social-security systems favored formal sector workers and the middle class.

Haggard and Kaufman compare the different welfare paths of the countries in these regions following democratization and the move toward more open economies. Although these transformations generated pressure to reform existing welfare systems, economic performance and welfare legacies exerted a more profound influence. The authors show how exclusionary welfare systems and economic crisis in Latin America created incentives to adopt liberal social-policy reforms, while social entitlements from the communist era limited the scope of liberal reforms in the new democracies of Eastern Europe. In East Asia, high growth and permissive fiscal conditions provided opportunities to broaden social entitlements in the new democracies.

This book highlights the importance of placing the contemporary effects of democratization and globalization into a broader historical context.

Stephan Haggard is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Robert R. Kaufman is professor of political science at Rutgers University.


"While many authors cannot see beyond the borders of their own country, Haggard and Kaufman masterfully compare Latin America, East Asia, and East Europe from a global perspective. These two great scholars analyze urgent contemporary problems, the status and future fate of the welfare state, and the relationship of changes with the creation and development of democracy with remarkable expertise, precision, and human empathy."--János Kornai, professor emeritus, Harvard University and Collegium Budapest

"This ambitious book extends the theoretical framework of the literature on welfare states in the advanced capitalist countries, and situates the experience of these countries in a broader comparative context. Haggard and Kaufman bring out the multifaceted implications of development models and regime types for social policy. Their synthetic account is truly a tour de force and a testimony to the fruitfulness of cross-regional comparison."--Jonas Pontusson, Princeton University

"A masterly analysis of how political interests, economic circumstances, development strategies, and local history have shaped what are surprisingly different versions of the welfare state across the developing world. The authors combine fine-grained country analyses with intelligent use of data, and explain and extend the theory and literature on the modern welfare state. The book is both scholarly and readable."--Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development

"This book has no equal in the welfare-state literature, a truly impressive achievement. Haggard and Kaufman combine meticulous scholarship with sophisticated theoretical guidance in this study of welfare state evolution in Latin America, Asia, and East Europe. The book not only fills a huge void in our knowledge, it also compels us to seriously rethink prevailing theory."--Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

More endorsements

Table of Contents

List of Figures xi
List of Tables xiii
Preface and Acknowledgments xvii
Abbreviations xxiii

INTRODUCTION: Toward a Political Economy of Social Policy 1
PART ONE: The Historical Origins of Welfare Systems, 1945-80 25
CHAPTER ONE: Social Policy in Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe, 1945-80: An Overview 27
CHAPTER TWO: The Expansion of Welfare Commitments in Latin America, 1945-80 79
CHAPTER THREE: The Evolution of Social Contracts in East Asia, 1950-80 114
CHAPTER FOUR: Building the Socialist Welfare State: The Expansion of Welfare Commitments in Eastern Europe 143

PART TWO: Democratization, Economic Crisis, and Welfare Reform, 1980-2005 179
CHAPTER FIVE: The Political Economy of Welfare Reform 181
CHAPTER SIX: Democracy, Growth, and the Evolution of Social Contracts in East Asia, 1980-2005 221
CHAPTER SEVEN: Democracy, Economic Crisis, and Social Policy in Latin America, 1980-2005 262
CHAPTER EIGHT: The Legacy of the Socialist Welfare State, 1990-2005 305
CONCLUSION: Latin America, East Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Theory of the Welfare State 346

APPENDIX ONE: Cross-National Empirical Studies of the Effects of Democracy on Social Policy and Social Outcomes 365
APPENDIX TWO: Fiscal Federalism and Social Spending in Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe 370
APPENDIX THREE: A Cross-Section Model of Social Policy and Outcomes in Middle-Income Countries, 1973-80 372
APPENDIX FOUR: Regime-Coding Rules 379
APPENDIX FIVE: A Cross-Section, Time-Series Model of Social Spending in Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe, 1980-2000 382
APPENDIX SIX: Social Security, Health, and Education Expenditure in East Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, 1980-2005 387

References 399
Index 449

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Famous Quotes about Love (600 Quotations)

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It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Lord Alfred Tennyson

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It is said of love that it sometimes goes, sometimes flies; runs with one, walks gravely with another; turns a third into ice, and sets a fourth in a flame: it wounds one, another it kills: like lightning it begins and ends in the same moment: it makes that fort yield at night which it besieged but in the morning; for there is no force able to resist it.
Miguel De Cervantes

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A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved, by others.

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A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
Mahatma Gandhi

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A false enchantment can all too easily last a lifetime.
W. H. Auden

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A good marriage winds up as a meeting of minds, which had better be pretty good to start with.

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A heart that loves is always young.
Greek Proverb

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A life without love in it is like a heap of ashes upon a deserted hearth, with the fire dead, the laughter stilled and the light extinguished.
Frank Tebbets

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A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak.
Michael Garrett Marino

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A loving heart is the truest wisdom.
Charles Dickens

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A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears.
Woodrow Wyatt

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A man has only one escape from his old self: to see a different self in the mirror of some woman's eyes.
Clare Boothe Luce

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A man in love is like a clipped coupon -- it's time to cash in.
Mae West

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A man in love mistakes a pimple for a dimple.
Japanese Proverb

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A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
George Moore

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A pity beyond all telling is hid in the heart of love.
William Butler Yeats

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A proof that experience is of no use, is that the end of one love does not prevent us from beginning another.
Paul Bourget

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A supreme love, a motive that gives a sublime rhythm to a woman's life, and exalts habit into partnership with the soul's highest needs, is not to be had where and how she wills.
George Eliot

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A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
Ambrose Bierce

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A woman who could always love would never grow old; and the love of mother and wife would often give or preserve many charms if it were not too often combined with parental and conjugal anger. There remains in the face of women who are naturally serene and peaceful, and of those rendered so by religion, an after-spring, and later an after-summer, the reflex of their most beautiful bloom.
Jean Paul Richter

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Rethinking the “Anglo-American” International System

Martin Wolf, The Financial Times

September 2, 2008

We are all Americans now. By this I do not merely mean that the leadership of the US shapes the world in which we live. The world we live in is the world the Americans or, more precisely, the Anglo-Americans have made. The US will retain a huge influence. How will it use it? That is the question we should ask about the presidential election. The choice also seems clear: it is between those who expect a world of conflict and those who believe in seeking co-operation.

In a brilliant new book, Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations places today’s US in a tradition of global power which originated in the Netherlands of the 17th century, developed in the Britain of the 18th and the 19th centuries and continued in the US of the 20th century.* Theirs, he says, is the “Anglo-American” system.

What is this system? It has three central features: it is maritime; it is global; and it combines commerce with military power. The Anglo-Americans have a distinctive civilisation: civilian, yet bellicose, commercial, yet moralistic, individualistic, yet organised, innovative, yet conservative, and idealistic, yet ruthless. To its foes, it is brutal, shallow and hypocritical. To its friends, it is the fount of freedom and democracy.

Over the past three centuries, the Anglo-Americans have brought to the world the rule of large countries by executives responsible to elected assemblies. They brought market-driven capitalism and the ongoing industrial and technological revolutions. Not least, they overthrew many powerful enemies: the Spanish empire; royal and imperial France; imperial and Nazi Germany, militaristic Japan; and, most recently, Soviet communism. They destroyed the Mughal empire in India, the shogunate in Japan and, indirectly, the last imperial dynasty of China.

The Anglo-Americans have also confronted many opposing ideologies. Marxism was just the most important alternative ideology of modernity. Its downfall as an ideological system offered Francis Fukuyama the chance to write of the “end of history”. Liberal democracy, he argued, had proved itself to be the only system consistent with modernity.

The grand historical narrative of the past three centuries has been that of the Anglo-American revolution and of the reactions it has evoked among the peoples and civilisations it has destroyed, defeated, humiliated and, above all, transformed. For this shift in global power was not merely external. The British and Americans brought with them internal transformation. The greatest civilisations – Islamic, Indian and even Chinese – were overwhelmed. The British and Americans are prone to regard their interventions as well-intentioned and their impact as beneficent. This is not, to put it mildly, how it has looked to the rest of humanity. One of the virtues of this book is its appreciation of the contempt and hatred felt, from Louis XIV to Osama bin Laden and Vladimir Putin, for Anglo-Americans.

So what is the future of this system and of the world it has shaped, in the 21st century? What, too, might this have to do with the presidential election now under way?

The first and biggest point is that the world has now largely bought into the market economy and its corollary of globalisation. This is now transforming the world’s two giants, China and India. As a result, the US is in relative economic decline.

Second, the US will, nevertheless, retain the world’s most powerful, most technologically advanced and most innovative economy over the next quarter century. It is equally sure to possess the world’s dominant military and so to remain the biggest global power over this period. It will remain the one global power.

Third, Barack Obama and John McCain are both Americans. Inside the US what seems striking is their differences. To most of the rest of the world what is obvious is the similarities. Both represent the Anglo-American tradition, this being a matter of culture, not of ancestry. They both believe in US destiny and the beneficence of its great power.

Yet they also reflect divergent elements in the tradition: the instincts for conflict and for co-operation. The first instinct seeks enemies and the latter deals. The former is manichean and the latter conciliatory.

The Bush administration has been a devotee of the former point of view. it has even embraced evil – torture, most notably – in order to fight it. Mr McCain, too, is a warrior against evil. In another fascinating book, Robert Kagan, most intelligent of the neo-conservatives, has laid out the ground for a new era of conflict.** The world’s democracies must, argues Mr Kagan, unite to shape the world, against opposition from “the great autocratic powers, along with the reactionary forces of Islamic radicalism”. This is an impressive “axis of evil”, one that links China to Russia, Iran and Osama bin Laden.

This vision is seductive, plausible and dangerous. It is dangerous because it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is dangerous because, as the world becomes smaller and the challenges of managing the global commons greater, co-operation is essential. It is dangerous, not least, because the so-called new autocracies pose no existential threat and offer no compelling new ideology. This is a huge over-reaction to a modest threat.

It is reasonable for a westerner to dislike the governmental systems of China, and Russia. But it is evident to any dispassionate observer that these are far from being the countries of three decades ago. This is particularly true of China, which has made a huge bet on integration into the world economy and the concomitant opening of Chinese society. Whether this will ultimately lead to a democratic China nobody knows. But it would be a brave person indeed who ruled it out.

This presidential election might well determine the character of the next, possibly final, epoch of Anglo-American global hegemony. The question is whether the American people will choose the instinct for conflict or that for co-operation.

Neither Mr McCain nor Mr Obama will, in practice, embrace just one alternative. Nor will just one approach be the only answer. But the difference in tendency is clear. Is the US girding its loins for another great crusade against evil? Or is it prepared to sit down with the rest of the world and talk. The right approach for today’s complex world is not that of those who see agreement and appeasement as synonyms. The choice seems clear. It will shape our era.

*God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007); ** The Return of History and the End of Dreams (London: Atlantic; 2008).

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Eastern Europe After Communism

Determining when one period gave way to another or, in fact, naming a period is always a tricky matter. This is especially so when it comes to contemporary events. Processes are still going on and it is not yet evident what conclusive outcome, if any, is going to take shape. Nonetheless, it is already possible to look at postcommunism in Central and Eastern Europe with some perspective, and to reach some tentative conclusions. The first is that three periods or stages have unfolded. In the opening phase there was near-messianic enthusiasm and redemptive hope. Then came a time of differentiation when views became nuanced. The third period is characterized by introspection mixed with disenchantment.

The first stage, roughly 1989–1995, was inspired by the astonishingly rapid collapse of the communist systems. What appeared to be a bold attempt at reform embodied in Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost and perestroika turned into a tsunami of change. Within a few years, the Soviet party-state was disestablished. Moscow-supported puppet regimes in Eastern and Central Europe were replaced by reformist and democratically elected governments headed by former dissidents. German reunification symbolized, perhaps more than anything else, the demise of the Soviet ideological and strategic hold on postwar politics.

All this was achieved with hardly any violence (Romanian and Yugoslav developments apart). Communist hegemons bowed out of power, sometimes even elegantly, promoting the belief that a world historical development was under way, heralding the ultimate victory of democracy and the free market over anachronistic totalitarianism. Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History articulated an almost messianic belief in the march of history. He gave an intellectual, quasi-Hegelian veneer to deterministic notions of what was happening and reversed Marxist determinism while sustaining some of its methodological assumptions. At the same time, less sophisticated views of a universal march of democracy were articulated by political actors, scholars, and journalists in both the West and in former communist countries. They shared the belief that, absent communist totalitarianism, each “liberated” country would develop toward Western-style democracy with a multiparty system, free elections, a free press, and market capitalism. There would be ups and downs, surely, and not all countries would develop at the same speed and with equal success. But there was hardly any doubt about the outcome.

Initial developments gave sustenance to these beliefs: elections did bring to power leaders committed to Western democracy. Far-reaching reforms did privatize, in different ways, state-run economies. Yet few people paid sufficient attention to signs of troubles ahead.

Basic differences between developments in the Soviet Union and such countries as Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia were often ignored. It is obvious that the very possibility of democratization in the latter countries depended on what happened in Moscow. But they also had indigenous dissident movements that fought for change from below and had mobilized public opinion, creating a political counterculture that eventually triumphed: Solidarnosc (Solidarity) in Poland, the Democratic Forum and the SDS Liberals in Hungary, and Charter-77 and “People against Violence” in Czechoslovakia. These movements evoked the memories of 1956 or 1968, and their leaders, many of whom suffered persecution and prison under communism, negotiated the transition out of communism. The Soviet case was different. Even though Gorbachev’s reforms were at least partially inspired by the ideas of dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov, change was initiated from above, from within the Communist Party. Even if a more radical reformer like Boris Yeltsin finally trumped the more careful Gorbachev, it was always the former apparatchiks who eventually came to power. The Soviet Union had no Lech Walesas or Vaclav Havels. No former dissidents or prisoners became ministers or presidents in Moscow, in contrast to Warsaw, Budapest, and Prague. Instead, there was an internal bureaucratic shift in the Kremlin. “Reformers” defeated “hard-liners.” The Baltic countries and also—up to a point—Georgia were different, however, because in them dissidents did take office. In Moscow, it was a new cadre of bureaucrats that oversaw reforms.

Missing Diversity

IN THE triumphalist, postcommunist mood—it sometimes resembled a Walpurgis Night in which all cats are gray—observers often overlooked how diverse anticommunist coalitions were. Being anticommunist did not automatically mean being a democrat. The victorious anticommunist camps of 1989 were made up of democrats and liberals, social democrats and conservatives, nationalists and religious fundamentalists, anti-Russian chauvinists and—yes, frankly—semi-fascists and anti-Semites who sought to expiate (somewhat) their sordid pasts by posing as freedom lovers. Few, at that time, thought that Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a courageous anticommunist, was also a fierce Russian chauvinist of the old school. Eventually it became clear that most countries in Central and Eastern Europe harbored their own local Solzhenitsyns.

Eastern or Central European anticommunism was also coupled with—if not dominated by—strong nationalist anti-Russian sentiments. Solidarity’s immense popularity derived partly from a deeply ingrained anti-Russian nationalism linked to Roman Catholicism. This was one reason for its enormous resonance in Polish society. Similar sentiments, though probably less radical and with different colorations, played roles in Hungary and Czechoslovakia and were also evident in the Baltic republics (especially Lithuania) as well as in Georgia.

Enthusiasm for rapid marketization obscured the impact of reforms on social strata that would suffer from the abolition of some of the safety nets provided by communism: retirees, workers in rust-belt, Soviet-style industries, provincial residents. Not everyone was a winner in the postcommunist paradise.

Finally, the chiliastic atmosphere immediately after 1989 often blinded analysts to the fact that there are no shortcuts to democracy. It does not emerge overnight, automatically, and it is not enough to have an elite committed to democracy and markets. After all, democracy in countries such as Britain and France took centuries, and the United States needed a civil war to abolish slavery and another century to enfranchise fully its black population. The political histories of Germany, Italy, and Spain show how complex, tortuous, and sometimes murderous the transformation toward democracy can be.
Full-text available, click here.
*Shlomo Avineri is Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Recurring Visiting Professor at the Central European University in Budapest. His latest book (in Hebrew) is Herzl: An Intellectual Biography.
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