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Consolidating democracy in latin america

I call such semidemocratic regimes “electoral democracies.” This term is now generally used to describe a specific type of semidemocracy—one that manages to hold (more or less) inclusive, clean, and competitive...

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The impact of these movements on the quality of democracy and governability are not yet entirely clear.

Dahl calls countries that meet these criteria “polyarchies,” but they are more commonly referred to as “liberal democracies.” Two other subtypes of democracy have gained wide recognition in the scholarly literature on new democracies.

On the one hand, there are all those borderline cases that possess some but not all of liberal [End Page 92] democracy’s essential features, and therefore fall somewhere in between democracy and authoritarianism.

As we can see there are reasons to be moderately optimistic but not complacent.

In a Latin American context of weak economic growth (according to the IMF the region will grow below 2 percent) and intense electoral marathons, governments will have to face citizen expectations and demands in conditions of greater austerity.


  1. Transitional regimes in Latin America. See Scott Mainwaring's rapporteur's report, Kellogg. Institute Working Paper #73. In April 1987, a meeting entitled “Issues in the Consolidation of. Democracy in Latin America and Southern Europe,” jointly sponsored by the Social Science. Research Council and the Kellogg Institute.

  2. Challenges to Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean Evidence from the AmericasBarometer 2006-07 v. Preface. The United States Agency for International Development USAID takes pride in its support of the Latin American Public Opinion Project LAPOP democracy and governance surveys in Latin America.

  3. Can the liberalization of authoritarian rule in Central America and the possible prospect of honest competitive elections in Mexico be transformed into genuine democratic transitions? Will previously consolidated political democracies such as Venezuela and Costa Rica be able to extend the basic principles of citizenship.

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