Democratic Governance

In recent years, the state of democratic governance in Latin America has been decidedly mixed. Discussion has turned away from elections and the leftward swings in several countries. Electoral contests are increasingly a matter of routine, and ideology has become notably less salient. The debate now centers on how leaders and institutions confront the complicated tasks of managing their economic and social affairs while representing heterogeneous societies with heightened demands and expectations.

The Inter-American Dialogue closely monitors the state of democratic governance and the rule of law in the countries of the Western Hemisphere. Our analysis, reports, and exchanges serve to encourage compliance with regional and international democratic commitments. In recent years, the Dialogue has placed emphasis on elections, press freedom, public opinion within Latin America’s growing middle class, and the implications of political shifts.

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It’s not just a matter of putting a younger person in that position [of leader of the Cuban Communist Party], it’s a matter of fundamentally changing the system. And there is pressure to do that from some factions, but there’s also a lot of resistance. It’s going to be an extremely interesting Congress because it happens in the context of the worst economic situation in 30 years.