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Democratic Backsliding amid COVID-19: The Latin American Case

  • Author Seungho Lee
  • Series213
  • Date2021-05-27
The process of democratic consolidation preceded by the post-1978 wave of democratization in Latin America has been far from successful. Since the turn of the century, democratic institutions across the region have deteriorated, and in some cases, broken down. The pandemic arrived in difficult times, providing authoritarian-leaning governments with excuses to consolidate executive power and erode checks and balances. The bad news is that the negative socioeconomic consequences of the health crisis are yet to fully uncover. Real tests to the region’s democracy will come after the COVID-19 pandemic. There is every reason for concern that its outcomes will put most of fragile Latin American democracies in a danger they have not faced since democratization.
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