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Civil societal actors who seek a greater presence in policy debates face a number of daunting challenges, which I have acknowledged throughout the book. Some members of CSOs in Latin American countries have not been able to surmount these obstacles to successful advocacy, while others have managed to raise public awareness of pressing issues, offer ideas and analysis to policy makers, collaborate with governing elites, communicate their demands, pressure elected officials to pass reforms, and contribute to policy debates and decisions in meaningful ways. In this concluding chapter, I review the accomplishments and failures of civil societal actors who have engaged in advocacy and recapitulate my arguments explaining their varied levels of success. I then summarize the book’s main theoretical, empirical, and methodological contributions and the broader implications of this project for the study and practice of democracy. Finally, I identify several promising areas of research and call for more comparative work on the political impact of civil societies in Latin America and beyond.

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© 2015 Amy Risley

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Risley, A. (2015). Civil Society Participation and the Quest for High-Quality Democracy. In: Civil Society Organizations, Advocacy, and Policy Making in Latin American Democracies. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

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