Political Science

Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy

"A classic."—New York Times
"Seminal, epochal, path-breaking . . . a Democracy in America for our times."—The Nation
From the bestselling author of Bowling Alone, a landmark account of the secret of successful democracies


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Jun 16, 1994
6.13 x 9.25 in.
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Why do some democratic governments succeed and others fail? In a book that has received attention from policymakers and civic activists in America and around the world, acclaimed political scientist and bestselling author Robert Putnam and his collaborators offer empirical evidence for the importance of “civic community” in developing successful institutions. Their focus is on a unique experiment begun in 1970, when Italy created new governments for each of its regions. After spending two decades analyzing the efficacy of these governments in such fields as agriculture, housing, and healthcare, they reveal patterns of associationism, trust, and cooperation that facilitate good governance and economic prosperity. The result is a landmark book filled with crucial insights about how to make democracy work.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 1994 Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize
  • Winner of the 1994 Gregory Luebbert Award
  • Winner of the 1993 Louis Brownlow Book Award, National Academy of Public Administration
  • Honorable Mention for the 1993 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Government and Political Science, Association of American Publishers