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Guillermo O'Donnell, Counterpoints: Selected Essays on Authoritarianism and Democratization (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999), pp. xxi + 235, $40.00 hb.
This collection of essays by Guillermo O'Donnell provides a retrospective look at the ways that his thinking has developed over the past thirty years or so. It deserves a warm welcome. It is notoriously difficult to say anything new about the nature of politics. Economists make conceptual break-throughs and win Nobel prizes. Political scientists -- politologos in the vernacular -- do not. But O'Donnell is different. He has always been ready to think the unthinkable. Today he can claim to be one of the very few original political thinkers of his generation.
This selection of his work adds up to more than the sum of its parts. The …