By Arjun Chowdhury and Cesi Cruz What links Latin American nations to failed states like Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo? By most objective measures, not much. Syria is the epitome of chaos, suffering from a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced or exiled millions more. Ethnic, religious and political conflict similarly takes a huge human … [Read more...] about Latin America and the Risk of State Failure
By Mauricio Báez and Katherine Poole For 71 years, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) held sway over virtually every aspect of Mexican life. It was, in the words of writer and Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, "the perfect dictatorship.” But Mexico has undergone a dramatic evolution. Since 2000, the PRI has alternated in power with the right wing National Action … [Read more...] about Mexico: Growth of a Multi-Party System
This year's update to the Database of Political Institutions marks its 17th year of tracking institutional and electoral data for countries from around the world, and the second update at its new permanent home at the IDB. Researchers at the World Bank Development Research Group first compiled the database in 2000, coding institutional and electoral variables for 180 countries … [Read more...] about A Unique Database Charts Latin America’s Deepening Democracy
Residents of Hamburg, Germany may have been shocked by the violent protests that erupted July 6 and July 7 during the meeting of the G-20, as protesters armed with rocks and incendiary devices blockaded streets, set cars ablaze and battled with police officers. But for the inhabitants of many Latin American cities, such scenes are commonplace. They are common because ordinary … [Read more...] about Weak Institutions, Fiery Protests
A healthy democracy requires widespread voting and an informed electorate. But by those standards many, if not most, democracies are ailing. In the United States, less than 60% of the voting age population turned out to vote in the 2016 presidential elections. Even so, many voters have little idea of the basics of the U.S. system and fewer than a quarter know who their senators … [Read more...] about Can Mandatory Voting Improve Democracy?