For the past 35 years, Latin America has not only successfully restored democracy and made it sustainable; it has also given democracy an important foundation in the form of citizen support.

The resilience of democracy in the region is without question one of the most significant achievements to note and to value.

As a result, debate now focuses on the quality of democracy. The focus is on how to construct more and better citizenship; on how to progress from being an electoral democracy to being a democracy of citizens and institutions; on how to reconcile democracy with economic development in societies with greater levels of social cohesion, less inequality and poverty, and greater gender equity.

The report presents the results of over two years of work by an international team of social scientists, experts and researchers. This initiative contributes to the methodology for analysing the quality of democracy, and to measuring the state of the democracies in the region, identifying useful elements for analysing options for political and institutional reform.


Publication date
01 June 2016
Leonardo Morlino, Juan Rial, Manuel Alcántara Sáez, Massimo Tommasoli, Daniel Zovatto
Number of pages
978-91-7671-050-0 (Print)



Foreword and acknowledgements

1. Introduction
Daniel Zovatto and Massimo Tommasoli

2. Theoretical framework
Leonardo Morlino

3. Empirical analysis
Leonardo Morlino

4. Concluding remarks
Leonardo Morlino

Postscript: the quality of democracy
Juan Rial

The new constitutionalism: re-foundational constitutions
Juan Rial

Politics and the quality of democracy in Latin America: considerations to supplement the analysis
Manuel Alcántara Sáez

References and further reading

Annex 1. Basic sub-dimensions and guiding questions

Annex 2. Quantitative assessment of dimensions and sub-dimensions

Annex 3. Summaries of qualitative country reports (2011–12)

About the authors

About International IDEA


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The Quality of Democracies in Latin America

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