Is Democracy in Trouble? Latin America in Global Perspective


Event Summary This event has passed.

The global democracy landscape is changing rapidly. Political scientist Larry Diamond has referred to a global “democratic recession” over the past decade. Others are more sanguine and point to democracy’s resilience and capacity for renewal in some countries. The effervescence on the streets has been striking in recent months, with protests not only in Hong Kong and Barcelona, but also throughout, Latin America, in Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and elsewhere. The protests reflect widespread discontent and anger with political establishments and the desire for improved representation and better governance.  

This is a critical moment to take stock of global democracy and examine how Latin America’s current crisis fits with Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe. The Global State of Democracy 2019 Report: Addressing the Ills, Reviving the Promise, the second edition of International IDEA’s flagship publication, analyzes the state of the world’s democracies, highlighting how opportunities and challenges play out in different ways in the four regions. 

The Inter-American Dialogue, International IDEA and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) are pleased to host the Washington, DC launch of this report, with a discussion on its key global findings and a focus on the Americas. Why are so many citizens disenchanted with the functioning of existing democracies? How can civil society be more effective in a shrinking civic space? How do corruption and communications technologies impact democracy? Are non-democracies seen as models of governance throughout the world?  

Follow this event on Twitter at #StateofDemocracy and @The_Dialogue.

Welcome Remarks:

Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)

Introductory Remarks:

Anthony Banbury

President, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) (@TonyBanbury)


Kevin Casas-Zamora

Secretary-General, International IDEA (@KevinCasasZ)


Thomas Carothers

Senior Vice-President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Roberta Jacobson

Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group & former US Ambassador to Mexico (@Jacobson_RS)


Michael Svetlik

Vice President, Programs, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) (@mdsvetlikIFES)


Event Partners:

This event is hosted in partnership with International IDEA and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).