Political parties are crucial but they are not highly regarded.
This report offers a preliminary assessment of the state of political parties in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic. Its purpose is to provide useful inputs for a debate about the current state of, and prospects for, political parties in the region.
Concern about political parties arises, on one hand, from their vital role in the consolidation of the region’s democracies, and on the other, from their negative public image (as reflected in polls and the opinions of many outside observers).
The report pays special attention to two voices that have been the subject of relatively little study: those of political leadership, and of the parties themselves (i.e. their institutional voices).
Part 1. Bringing All Voices Together: The state of and prospects for political parties in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic
1. Introduction: Central American Political Parties
2. Party systems in the region
3. Institutional self-portraits
4. The voices of leaders
5. The voices of societies and relatively excluded groups
6. Bringing All Voices Together: Assessment and pending reforms
Part 2. The paths to political democracy in Central America
Part 3. The crisis of political parties in Latin America
Part 4. Political financing in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic