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By focusing on the objective conditions that make democracy probable, sociological and historical theories of democracy often lose sight of what is possible. Here Giuseppe Di Palma instead explores those conciliatory political undertakings that political actors on all sides now engage in to make the improbable possible. His emphasis is on political crafting: in regard to constitutional choices, to alliances and convergences between contestants, to trade-offs, to the pacing of the transitions. Di Palma also examines the reasons--stalemate, the high cost of repression, a loss of goals, international constraints and inducements--that may motivate incumbents and nondemocratic political actors to accept democracy, even in those cases, as in Central America and Eastern Europe, where acceptance would seem least likely.
An original and imaginative work that, in the light of recent transitions, challenges our assumptions about fledgling democracies and breaks new theoretical ground, To Craft Democracies will appeal to anyone interested in the way we forge our political communities today.
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