Consolidating democracy in latin america

Moving away from arguments about preconditions, Alexander 2002 presents a theory of consolidation based on the strategic choices of political elites.Schedler 2001 and Munck and Verkuilen 2002 discuss issues related to the conceptualization of democracy and the measurement of consolidation.For example, although there is no consensus on whether economic growth and prospects for democratization are positively linked, scholars generally agree that economic growth contributes to democratic consolidation.Meanwhile, the role of civil society is as ambiguous in consolidation as it is in democratization.

This article focuses on the institutional, economic, social, and international causes of democratic consolidation as distinct from democratization.

Some of the authors cited in this section view democratic consolidation as a gradual process of overcoming the problems left by the previous authoritarian regime.

Others argue that consolidation is the result of deliberate choices made by political actors.

Opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stage a protest over a drawing of a gagged face during a march to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of the return of democracy after the 1958 coup in Caracas January 23, 2011.

(Jorge Silvas/Reuters)Around the turn of the millennium, prominent Latin America special­ist Scott Mainwaring highlighted the surprising endurance of democracy in that region after the transition wave of the late 1970s and 1980s.

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But at about the time Mainwaring was writing, onetime coupmaker Hugo Chávez was winning election to the Venezuelan presidency and beginning to move his country away from democratic rule.

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