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Citizenship deficits in Latin America democracies

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Author(s): Cameron , Maxwell A.

Journal: Convergencia
ISSN 1405-1435

Volume: 14;
Issue: 45;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: democracy | con sti tutions | Latin America | lawful state | citizen ship.

ABSTRACT
There is lit tle ev i dence of a cri sis of elec toral de moc racy in Latin Amer ica, yet many of the region┬┐s demo cratic regimes are unstable. Recently, Latin American democracies have been threat ened more by the unconstitutional and illegal actions of demo crat ically elected leaders than by at tempted mil i tary coups or sys tem atic elec toral fraud. The sep a ra tion of pow ers is some times vi o lated in sub tle ways that do not nec es sar ily in ter rupt elec toral de moc racy. Such threats have been in ad e quately the o rized in the lit er a ture. The o riz ing the sep a ra tion of pow ers could help the in ter na tional com mu nity to mon i tor the prog ress or ero sion of de moc racy in the West ern Hemisphere. The pro posed agenda for the as sess ment of de moc racy is aligned with the ar gu ment that the elec toral in sti tu tions of de moc racy re quire a law ful state (estado de derecho) ca pa ble of backing the fun da men tal rights and free doms of all cit i zens, with out which Latin Amer i can democracies face an insurmount able citizen ship deficit.
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