quarta-feira, novembro 30, 2011
Guillermo O'Donnell (1936-2011)
In 1998, I invited Guillermo O'Donnell and Richard Gunther for a conference at the Catholic University in Lisbon, in the context of their (slightly stingy) debate about "democratic consolidation". I was but a mere graduate student at the time, Richard was my adviser, but I had never met or contacted Guillermo before. Many people had warned me he was a bit of a grumpy character and tended to make intolerable demands concerning travelling. But to their (and my) surprise, he accepted immediately. The conference was very nice and Guillermo was nothing but delightful and kind, not to mention prodigiously brilliant. I met him (and his wonderful wife Gabriela) several times after that, including in an epic Club de Madrid meeting where I worked as his assistant. He was an academic giant, a true progressive democrat, a brave man, and a wonderful person.