Institutions And The Fate Of Democracy

Germany And Poland In The Twentieth Century

An important and compelling book. Its scrupulous analysis of democratization in Germany and Poland in different historical periods is essential for understanding the conditions that make new democracies work. For anyone concerned with democracy this is a must read; it represents comparative research in political science at its best.
Grzegorz Ekiert, Harvard University
Winner, 2007 Bronislaw Malinowski Social Sciences Award

As democracy has swept the globe, the question of why some democracies succeed while others fail has remained a pressing concern. In this theoretically innovative, richly historical study, Michael Bernhard looks at the process by which new democracies choose their political institutions, showing how these fundamental choices shape democracy's survival.
Offering a new analytical framework that maps the process by which basic political institu-tions emerge, Bernhard investigates four paradigmatic episodes of democracy in two countries: Germany during the Weimar period and after World War II, and Poland between the world wars and after the fall of communism.
Students of democracy will appreciate the broad applicability of Bernhard's findings, while area specialists will welcome the book's accessible and detailed historical accounts.

about the author

Michael Bernhard

Michael Bernhard is associate professor of political science at the Pennsylvania State University.

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Michael Bernhard