Latin America’s Lost Illusions: A Road with No Return?

Issue Date April 2003
Volume 14
Issue 2
Page Numbers 163-173
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Since 1995, the LatinobarĂ³metro (Latinobarometer) survey of public opinion has asked voters and citizens in 17 countries of Latin America about their support for and opinions of electoral democracy. While democracy often attracts more “default support” than it does positive loyalty, it is nonetheless true that authoritarian alternatives command little or no favor. This is the case even when democracy performs rather poorly in economic and institutional terms. Still, Latin American democracies must redouble their efforts to meet the challenges of building strong and democracy-friendly civic cultures and bringing marginalized groups and classes within their societies into the realm of full citizenship, equal rights, and political participation.