As it is evident from the works by Pietro Grilli (see in this issue the articles by Barbara Pisciotta and by Orazio Lanza) the key questions that has been addressed in these years on the phenomenon of democratizations has also been object of research by him. Especially when his books published in 2000, 2009, 2011 (see bibliography) are considered, complemented by those he edited with other colleagues (see e.g. 2014 and 2016), the quality and originality of his way of doing research on that topic can be fully appreciated.
In this short piece I would like to pay a tribute to the scholar I first met as young, serious, passionate student at Cesare Alfieri in Florence several years ago and to address a topic I guess we could have discussed together at length and would have received his interest. That is: reflecting on the research results and the very phenomenon of transitions to democracy that took place in a number of countries along last decades is it possible to single out the key obstacles to a successful transition to democracy? In the next pages I try to reply to such a question by referring also to another work where I addressed this issue (see Morlino 2015).