Crafting Democracies

Ending an authoritarian regime is a tricky business where individual political leadership can emerge as one of the most important factors in reaching the compromises and accommodations needed to bring a shift towards democracy.  The extensive interviews with thirteen political leaders from nine countries conducted by Professor Abraham Lowenthal paint a careful picture of how and why leadership matters to democratic transitions and the role that political parties and international assistance play in the regime change process. Lessons from the past experiences of nine countries in four different regions offer important food for thought for democrats laying siege to authoritarian regimes in many parts of the world. Building democracies will be neither easy, nor quick, and in some cases it will not happen in the medium term. What is certain is that leadership plays a critical role in keeping the transition process alive to advance, however gradually, political liberalisation.  In this video, Professor Abraham F (Abe) Lowenthal from the University of Southern California speaks with Dr Sean Burges, Lecturer in International Relations and Deputy Director of the ANU Centre for Latin American Studies about what we can learn from those countries which have been through this transition to democracy.  Professor Lowenthal visited ANU as a guest of the School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies, and ANU Centre for European Studies. For more information visit: /