An array of internationally noted scholars examines the process of democratization in southern Europe and Latin America. They provide new interpretations of both current and historical efforts of nations to end periods of authoritarian rule and to initiate transition to democracy, efforts that have met with widely varying degrees of success and failure. Extensive case studies of individual countries, a comparative overview, and a synthesis conclusions offer important insights for political scientists, students, and all concerned with the prospects for democracy. Political democracy is not the only possible outcome of transitions from authoritarianism. The authors draw out the implications of democracy as a goal and of the uncertainty inherent in transitional situations. Democratization is perhaps the central issue in Latin American politics today. Case studies focus on Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.