Juan Linz

It is extremely sad that Juan Linz, one of the great political scientists and sociologists, has died.

His work, and his great kindness, had a deep impact on my career. I’ll never forget the thrill of a late-night (yes, late night even here in the west) phone call from him when I was a grad student. A professor of mine had sent him one of my papers. This was some time around 1985 or so. He liked the paper, wanted to talk to me about it, invite me to a conference on presidentialism and parliamentarism, and just generally encourage me. He sure achieved that. (The paper later grew into an APSR article, published in 1995.)

I always felt that the word that best described him was “gracious”. In addition to the call and conference, I once spent a few days at Yale and sat in on a seminar of his, chatted with him at several conferences, and received a few great letters from him over the years with comments and advice. I am not sure he ever slept, but he will rest in peace now.

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