Do young democracies have to "deliver the goods" economically in order to win political legitimacy in their citizens' eyes? Public opinion data from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Arab world suggest some fascinating answers.
Attitudes toward democracy in Latin America vary from country to country, and within countries between left and right. Public opinion is strongly affected by the success or failure of political leaders in delivering social and economic change.
What can public-opinion research tell us about the staying power of democracy in the region? Has it passed the point of any possible return to authoritarianism?
Across Latin America, public support for democracy has been remarkably stable and consistently higher than satisfaction with the way that democracy works. Low institutional trust reflects even lower levels of interpersonal trust.