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
When allies of President Horacio Cartes tried to force an amendment through Paraguay's congress last year to allow him to run for a second term, rioters took to the streets and set fire to Congress, illustrating in particularly dramatic fashion the sharp divisions around term limits. Cartes eventually decided not to run again, but he may have been the exception. In recent … [Read more...] about Do Term Limits Benefit Voters?
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
Little more than half of the respondents captured in the latest regional survey of Chile-based Latinobarómetro thought democracy was the best form of government – a ten-year low that indicates weakness in Latin America's democracies. But does this mean citizens are losing their interest in voting, democracy's most sacred right? In a recently published study, Carlos Scartascini … [Read more...] about How the Right to Vote Sparks Political Interest