Goodbye to Alfred Stepan, a historic member of Club de Madrid

The core materials discussed at the Assembly were gathered in a publication titled “Democracies in Danger”, with a conclusion writen by our Member and former president of Brazil (1995-2003), Fernando Henrique Cardoso. In 2007, he was one of the most cited political scientist in the USA.

Mr. Stepan was a renown political scientist and Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government at Columbia University, where he was also founder and director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion. He obtained his doctorate degree in 1969 from this institution, and afterwards started to teach political science at Yale University. From 1982 to 1983 he was the director of the concilium on international and area studies at Yale, and in 1983 he returned to Columbia University. He has taught also in Oxford (1996-1999) and became the first rector and president of the Central European University (1993-1996). In 2007, he was one of the most cited political scientist in the USA.

His work  has been widely referenced in Latinamerica, especially after the publication of his book “Democratising Brazil: problems of transition and consolidation” and “Rethinking military politics: Brazil and the Southern Cone”. This allowed him to be one of the main referents of political comparative studies and a referent about military and civic relationships.

He was considered one of the biggest comparativist of political science of the 20th century thanks to works such as “Arguing Comparative Politics” or “Democracy in Multinational Societies: India and Other Polities”, a book he wrote together with Yogendra Yadav and Juan Linz. With Mr. Linz also published the book “Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America and Post-Communist Europe.”

In 2002, the government of Brazil awarded him the honor of the “Orden de Río Branco”. He was also recipient of the Kalman Silvert award and the Karl Deustch Award by the International Political Science Association to honor a prominent scholar engaged in cross-disciplinary research. Since 1991 he has been member of the American Academy of Ats and Science and since 1997 member of the British Academy.

The Members of Club de Madrid share our condolences to his family and friends, and express our admiration for one of the most important political scientist of the second half of the 20th Century.