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Guillermo O'Donnell

'''Guillermo O'Donnell''', born in 1936 in Argentina, is a prominent Argentine political scientist, and Helen Kellogg Professor of Government and International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His brother Pacho O'Donnell is a well-known politician and writer.


Prof. O'Donnell studied law at the University of Buenos Aires, graduating in 1958. He went on to receive a master's degree (1971) and a doctor's degree (1981) in political science from Yale University.

He served as president of the International Political Science Association from 1988 to 1991. Prof. O'Donnell became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995.

Academic Work

Most important among his theoretical contributions to political science is his work on the 'bureaucratic-authoritarian state' and on theories of democracy and the characteristics of the process of democratic transition, through the development of concepts such as 'horizontal accountability,' 'micro democracy' and 'delegative democracy.'

Selected Publications

The Quality of Democracy: Theory and Applications (2004)

Desarrollo Humano y Ciudadania: Reflexiones sobre la Calidad de la Democracia en America Latina (2003)

Counterpoints: Selected Essays on Authoritarianism and Democratization (1999)

The (Un)Rule of Law and the Underprivileged in Latin America (1999)

A Democracia no Brasil (1988)

Bureaucratic Authoritarianism: Argentina 1966-1973 in Comparative Perspective (1986)

Transitions from Authoritarian Rule (1986)

Poverty and Inequality in Latin America (1988)

Development and the Art of Trespassing (1986)

Issues in Democratic Consolidation (1982)


In 2006 he was the first ever recipient of the Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the International Political Science Association (IPSA).

He received, in 2003, the Kalman Silvert Award for lifetime contribution to the study of Latin America, the highest honor of the Latin American Studies Association.

External links

Official Page

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