Latin America

The Democratic Quality of Latin American Leaders: a Typology

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 16:45

Political leaders can make a difference. They can start a war, sign a peace treaty, promote democracy or establish authoritarianism. In fact, world history could be learned through the study of leaders. And yet political leadership has been of secondary importance in the political science literature. There are more studies about democracy than about democrats and without democrats there is no democracy. This has been especially the case in Latin American political studies so far. We welcome the fact that this is changing and there is more interest in analyzing leaders.

Legal Mobilization and Counter-Mobilization in Latin America. Analytical Framework from the Abortion Rights Controversy

Monday, August 22, 2016 - 08:00

In the article Movilización y contra-movilización legal. Propuesta para su análisis en América Latina(Política y Gobierno Vol. XXII, No. 1, 2015: 175-198), I present an analytical framework for the study of legal mobilization processes in Latin America that combines three theoretical perspectives developed in separate fields of scholarship, which are usually not connected: social movement theory, the strand of constitutional theory known as democratic constitutionalism, and legal mobilization studies.

They’re Here to Stay… Re-election Reform Processes in Latin America

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 08:00

Presidential re-election in Latin America has historically implied a significant element of constitutional instability, dating from the early creation of the Republics. Until a few decades ago, changes in re-election laws tended towards the imposition of term limits, mainly as a result of prolonged experience with dictatorships in most countries of the region.

Exploring News Media Consumption and Political Behavior in Latin America

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 08:00

The proliferation of democratic regimes in Latin America at the end of the 20th century shifted the focus of Latin American politics scholars to research questions relating to democratic development. The raising of these questions, and especially those related to political behavior, was accompanied by an expanded availability of data. One such area of study that has benefited from data availability and democratically-oriented research topics is that of media effects.

The Impact of Political Decentralization: A Natural Experiment in Uruguay

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 08:15

Is political decentralization an effective institutional reform to promote citizens´ engagement with democracy? The potential democratizing effect of political decentralization reforms has been a matter of substantial theoretical and empirical debate. Analyses of the causal impact of decentralization reforms have reached very dissimilar conclusions (Eaton and Connerley 2010), and they have been strongly marked by normative preferences.

The Etymology of “Latin” America

Friday, May 6, 2016 - 10:45

Have you ever wondered why Central America, the Caribbean, and South America are commonly referred to as “Latin” America? No one in these regions speaks Latin today. The primary language is Castilian Spanish but there is also wide use of Portuguese, French, English, Dutch, and indigenous languages such as Quechua, Aymara, Guaraní, and hundreds of others.

In Defense of the King: Observations on Spanish American Royalism in the Era of Independence

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 09:45

Among historians, Latin American independence has been and continues to be a thoroughly researched field. Beginning with the personal accounts of participants in the wars of independence published in the first half of the nineteenth century, decade after decade historians have produced a steady stream of scholarship on the events which gave birth to the multiple nations of the Americas.

Civil Society and Democracy in Times of Political Crisis

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 10:15

Last year, the Obama administration announced a new civil society initiative, Stand with Civil Society, calling for support of civil society groups across the world and acknowledging the role they play in pushing for citizen engagement, equity, transparency and accountability.  These positive perspectives of civil society pushing for more democratic governance contrasts with more skeptical views that civil society may actually negatively impact the prospects for developing strong democrac

Reflections on the Inter-Oceanic Highway in the Southwestern Amazon

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 09:00

A mainstay of development policy has been the promotion of roads and other infrastructure to support economic development (World Bank 1994). In the last decade-plus, infrastructure has again been prioritized, increasingly as a means of fostering economic integration among neighboring countries (Bourguignon and Pleskovic 2008).

Authors Rut Diamint and Laura Tedesco Present their Recent Book "Latin America´s Leaders"

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 14:30

The research behind Latin America´s Leaders (ZED Books, London, 2015) was motivated by questions related to the democratic quality of leaders. Why do democratically elected leaders undermine democracy as soon as they are in power? Why has the return to democracy not done away with Latin America’s tendency to generate authoritarian leaders?

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