Drawing upon personal interviews Abraham Lowenthal and Sergio Bitar of Chile conducted with 13 former presidents and prime ministers from 9 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America who played leading roles in managing successful and unreversed transitions from authoritarian rule toward democratic governance, Lowenthal will discuss recurrent challenges that democratic transitions pose, and what can be learned from prior experiences. He will introduce and provide background and highlights from Democratic Transitions:Conversations with World Leaders,recently published by Johns Hopkins University Press and International IDEA.The book will appear this semester in Arabic, Spanish, French, Dutch and Burmese.
Abraham F. Lowenthal has combined two careers: as an analyst of Latin America, US-Latin American relations, and California’s global role, and as the founder and chief executive of three prestigious organizations—the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. Recently retired from his professorial chair at the University of Southern California, Dr. Lowenthal has authored, edited or coedited and contributed to fifteen volumes, including Global California: Rising to the Cosmopolitan Challenge (Stanford 2009) and others published by Harvard, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and Brookings; more than a hundred journal articles, including seven in Foreign Affairs; and some 200 newspaper articles. He has been decorated by the presidents of Brazil and the Dominican Republic, and received an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame. His book, Partners in Conflict: The United States and Latin America, was awarded USC’s prize for the best faculty book, and he has been honored by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce for his contribution to California’s international trade. Dr. Lowenthal is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution,an adjunct professor[research] at Brown, and a visiting fellow at Harvard.