Alfred C. Stepan

Columbia University
New York, NY
Political scientist; Educator; Academic administrator
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Political Science


Alfred Stepan was the Wallace Sayre Professor of Government, the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion (CDTR), and the Co-Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life (IRCPL). He was the founding Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw and was the former Director on the Concilium on International and Area Studies at Yale University and the Dean of the School of International Affairs at Columbia University. His two most recent books were Alfred Stepan, Juan J. Linz, Yogendra Yadav, Democracy in Multinational Societies: India and Other Polities, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) and Democracies in Danger, Alfred Stepan, ed., (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). Some of his other books include Arguing Comparative Politics (Oxford 2001); Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, with J. J. Linz (Johns Hopkins 1996); Rethinking Military Politics: Brazil and the Southern Cone (Princeton 1988); The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes, edited with Juan J. Linz (Johns Hopkins 1978); The State and Society: Peru in Comparative Perspective (Princeton 1978); and The Military in Politics: Changing Patterns in Brazil (Princeton 1971). Stepan's teaching and research interests included comparative politics, theories of democratic transitions, federalism, and the world's religious systems and democracy. He passed away on Sept. 27, 2017.

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