Consolidating democracy in latin america

Posted by / 10-Mar-2020 21:19

The way in which to measure and define consolidation, therefore, is debated by scholars in the field.Time is an especially important component of many empirical works that seek to explain regime endurance.A democracy becomes consolidated—that is, it is expected to endure—when political actors accept the legitimacy of democracy and no actor seeks to act outside democratic institutions for both normative and self-interested reasons.In other words, democracy is consolidated when, to use a common phrase, it is “the only game in town.” This definition of consolidation, based on the attitudinal and behavioral characteristics of political actors, is simultaneously intuitive and problematic.Schmitter and Karl 1991 echoes this view and further stresses that consolidated democracies will not be able, nor should be expected, to solve all sociopolitical problems.On the other hand, Huntington 1993 not only demarcates the end of a transition using the “two-turnover” test but also posits that economic prosperity, a peaceful transition, and previous experience with democracy are all preconditions for successful consolidation.

After decades marked by instability in numerous countries, especially Argentina, Bolivia, and Ec­uador, this newfound democratic resilience came as a welcome surprise.This article concludes with an overview of literature on deconsolidation, which challenges the notion that democratic consolidation is irreversible.Just as many different types of authoritarian regimes and paths of transition exist, so do many roads to consolidation.From that po­sition of strength, they have made discretionary use of the law for politi­cal purposes.With this discriminatory legalism, they have attacked, un­dermined, and intimidated the opposition in their respective countries, moving toward competititve authoritarianism as well.

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Although some authors are comfortable identifying a single endpoint of consolidation, others urge scholars and students to be wary of claims about what consolidation must include to be considered “complete.” In their important work, Linz and Stepan 1996 popularize the phrase “the only game in town” to describe democratic consolidation and outline how the history of a specific forms of authoritarianism might pose unique problems for consolidation.

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