Even though elections are the only means of access to public office in most of the region, they frequently involve high levels of clientelism, harassment of the opposition, and unfair advantages for incumbents.
Although the separation of powers is central to the constitutional design in most countries, a generalized tendency exists toward the concentration of power in the national executive through formal or informal mechanisms.
The first section presents general introductions to the topic, as well as efforts to produce normative assessments of changes in the quality of democracy in each country.
The second section cites works that have drawn on the peculiarities of the Latin American experience to reconceptualize the notion of democracy itself.
Democratic theory is an established subfield of political theory that is primarily concerned with examining the definition and meaning of the concept of democracy, as well as the moral foundations, obligations, challenges, and overall desirability of democratic governance.
Generally speaking, a commitment to democracy as an object of study and deliberation is what unites democratic theorists across a variety of academic disciplines and methodological orientations.
Dunn 1992 offers a collection of essays written by leading political theorists that chart the development and contemporary significance of the idea of democracy.
For decades, Latin America’s troubled experience with democracy has served as a testing ground for theories on democratization and political regimes.These challenges to the liberal model of democratic governance have in most cases followed victories by left-wing parties and candidates, who have launched major efforts to overhaul their political systems.As a result, Latin America’s experience with democracy since the 1980s has thrown new light on old questions in political science, such as the relationship between institutional design and democratic stability, the performance of democratic institutions in contexts of low state capacity, or the interaction between political and economic inequalities.The text is notable for its discussion of theories of deliberative democracy and theories of radical pluralism, two of the more recent and popular trends in democratic theory.Held 2006 provides one of the most popular overviews of the various models of democracy coupled with a critical account of what democracy means in light of globalization.The works cited here privilege Anglo-American, western European, and, more generally, institutional variants of democratic theory, and, therefore, they do not exhaust the full range of thought on the subject.