Abstract

Abstract:

Today, most countries in Latin America are experiencing the longest uninterrupted period of democracy in their respective histories. Yet while Latin American democracies may be surviving, few are thriving. Public-opinion surveys reveal waning satisfaction with democratic systems, which Latin Americans have expressed by voting against the political establishment. Public anger at established parties is in some cases a response to poor governance, but also has deeper structural causes that include persistent social inequality, state weakness, and weak political parties. Latin American democracies also face new challenges from a resurgent illiberal right; rising partisan polarization; and a changing international environment. Nonetheless, the continuing robustness of core democratic institutions—together with the poor recent track record of the region’s autocracies—offers some grounds for democratic optimism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 102-113
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-17
Open Access
No
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