Democracy in Latin America: (Re)Constructing Political Society

By Manuel Antonio Garretón M.; Edward Newman | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Social dimensions: Ethnicity
Rodolfo Stavenhagen

Social dimensions of democracy

The debate on the links between political democracy and social and economic issues is as old as democracy itself. However, it has re-emerged in recent years in the framework of what has been called (perhaps overoptimistically) a third wave of democratization in the twentieth century. In this process, two world regions have stood out in the latter decades of the century: Eastern Europe and Latin America, where the problems and struggles of building democratic societies have challenged the imagination and analytical skills of scholars.

Most Latin American countries have been formal democracies since the beginning of their independent existence in the nineteenth century, but they have never been able to achieve the stature of fully democratic polities including equal rights for all citizens, governmental accountability, an independent judiciary, and a widely shared democratic political and civic culture. As military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes began to crumble in the 1980s a number of Latin American societies attempted earnestly to build up their democratic institutions and institute credible and participatory electoral mechanisms. Some have been more successful in this than others, while in some states there have been worrisome reversals. At any rate, it soon became clear that electoral politics alone could not resolve the fundamental issues of democracy. Indeed, the justifiable concern over the transition to, and consolidation of, political


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Democracy in Latin America: (Re)Constructing Political Society


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 319

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?