The process of democratization in Latin America

  • Karen L. Remmer
Development Theory

Abstract

During the 1980s, Latin America experienced the longest and deepest wave of democratization in its history. The origins of this process of transformation are to be found in the interaction between domestic and international forces. At the international level, the key events were the oil shocks of the 1970s, the related expansion of international lending, and the subsequent debt crisis. The speed and extent to which these changes were translated into democratization were conditioned by the political alignments of the private sector and structural fragilities of authoritarianism at the national level. The persistence of the democratization trend through time reflects the importance of other factors, including global political change, the receding threat of the revolutionary left, the internationalization of capital markets, constraints on domestic policy choice, and political learning, which have converged at the domestic level to reduce the incentives and opportunities for authoritarian reversals.

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© Springer 1993

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  • Karen L. Remmer

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