This article examines the internet's potential to democratize gender equality advocacy in Latin America. Based on field research in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, it challenges the assumption that the internet's horizontal organization and widespread dissemination inherently or inevitably lead to greater democratization. It advances two interrelated arguments. First, the internet's potential to foster democratic relations and effective strategies in civil society depends on the consciousness with which advocates adopt, share, and deploy the technology. Second, the internet is a critical resource for marginalized or socially suspect groups and subjects, providing a unique means to express and transmit often ostracized ideas and identities.
This article evaluates 38 bills seeking to expand women's rights in Chile and finds that the successful ones often originated with the Executive National Women's Ministry (SERNAM), did not threaten existing definitions of gender roles, and did not require economic redistribution. These factors (plus the considerable influence of the Catholic Church) correlate in important ways, and tend to constrain political actors in ways not apparent from an examination of institutional roles or ideological identity alone. In particular, the Chilean left's strategic response to this complex web of interactions has enabled it to gain greater legislative influence on these issues over time.
Since 1999, growing citizen dissatisfaction in Bolivia has been manifest in a cycle of often violent protests. Citizens believe that they have no means of expressing themselves except demonstrations. The public has grown weary of neoliberalism, which is perceived as benefiting only the elite. A recent economic downturn provided the catalyst for the unrest. Underlying these economic concerns, however, are fundamental problems with representation. The second Bolivian "revolution" involved not only the shift from state-led economic development to neoliberalism but also a shift from corporatism to pluralism. Representative institutions have not fully responded to the new pluralistic landscape, despite a range of political reforms. Many Bolivians find that their voice in government has weakened even as their needs have grown. The Bolivian case thereby highlights the obstacles young democracies face in winning over decreasingly tolerant citizens.
Political corruption -- Latin America -- Public opinion.
Public opinion -- Latin America.
Political corruption poses a serious threat to the stability of developing democracies by eroding the links between citizens and governments. Using data on national levels of corruption (Transparency International 1997 CPI index) and individual opinion (1995–97 World Values Survey), this study finds that Latin Americans are quite aware of the seriousness of corruption in their countries. The ensuing question is whether citizens can connect their views about corruption to appraisals of their authorities and institutions and of democracy more generally. Collectively, the findings suggest that they can, and that the necessary ingredients for accountability are present in Latin America. The possible dark side of mass opinion on corruption is that pervasive misconduct may poison public sentiment toward democratic politics. On this score, the analysis found that this attitude affected only support for specific administrations and institutions.
This article focuses on the role of multinational corporations in the Colombian conflict, particularly how they contributed to the escalation of land conflicts and to the violent transformation of the rural economy into one based on rentier capital. It also explores how these companies helped in fomenting and financing the war system, an element that could partly explain the protracted persistence of the Colombian conflict.