Democracy in Latin America examined in new book

Author: Dennis K. Brown

Notre Dame political scientists Frances Hagopian and Scott Mainwaring are the editors of a new book that explores the wave of democratization that has swept through Latin America since 1978.p. The Third Wave of Democratization in Latin America: Advances and Setbacks,published by Cambridge University Press, features contributions from some of the pre-eminent scholars on Latin America, including seven former visiting fellows and three current faculty fellows of Notre Dames Kellogg Institute for International Studies.p. A sea change has occurred in Latin American politics,said Mainwaring, director of the Kellogg Institute and Eugene Conley Professor of Political Science.In most of the region (prior to 1978), authoritarian regimes were pervasive. Many democracies were short-lived, and many countries had no experience with democratic political regimes.p. In the late 1970s, only three countries in Latin America were democracies. Today, all but two regimes – Haiti and Cuba – can be considered democracies.p. This wave of democratization has been by far the broadest and most durable in the history of Latin America, but many of the resulting democratic regimes also suffer from profound deficiencies,said Hagopian, Michael P. Grace Associate Professor of Political Science.This book seeks to analyze why some countries have achieved such striking gains in democratization, while others have experienced erosions.p. Contributions to the volume consist of case studies of nine countries in the region, selected to illustrate both the surprising successes and equally surprising erosions.p. Hagopian and Mainwaring frame the country analysis with their perspectives on what causes and sustains democracy in the region, and they highlight the important changes in the international arena and of values.p. Despite the fact that democracy has so firmly taken root that an entire generation of people cannot remember a time when they could not vote, Hagopian said thatall is not welland the region faces daunting challenges.p. Many governments have not performed well and political representatives have failed to respond to citizens,she said.Public support and enthusiasm for democracy is as weak as it has perhaps ever been.p. Kellogg contributors to the book are Hagopian, Mainwaring and Michael Coppedge, associate professor of political science.p. * Contacts: * _Frances Hagopian, 574-631-8529 or , and Scott Mainwaring, 574-631-8530 or _

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