The Crisis of Representation in the Andes

Issue Date July 2006
Volume 17
Issue 3
Page Numbers 13-27
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Over the past fifteen years, disaffection with democracy, political parties, and legislatures has spread to an alarming degree in the five countries of the Andean region—Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The region has seen an increase in poverty, income inequalities, and crime; job generation has been poor; economic growth has been sluggish; and there is a widespread perception that governmental corruption is rampant. States have failed to adequately address the needs of their populations, causing citizens to lose trust in parties and legislatures. The problem is not deficiencies in the formal mechanisms of representation but the failure of states to achieve effective results.