Bras. Political Sci. Rev.2015;9(1):150-8.
Finally Together: Democracy and Reduction in Inequality in Latin America
During the last quarter of the 20th century the research agenda for comparative studies of Latin America concentrated on the debate over processes of overthrowing authoritarian regimes and that of building new democratic systems. With the transitions completed, this “transitionology” field began to focus on other concerns and objectives. In the 21st century, Latin Americanists began to emphasize themes such as quality and the consolidation of democratic regimes, the institutionalization of party systems (with indicators that in both cases would reveal fragilities even in the most “consolidated” cases), innovations and difficulties in terms of public policies and the experience of governance, problems in making effective the practice of citizenship, and limitations in combatting historical problems of inequality and poverty.
The red (or pink?) wave that swept over the continent during the first decade of this century, with the rise to power of leftist parties and movements in various countries, also received particular attention in this literature, drastically increasing studies on the topic. A glance at Amazon.com using the search phrase “left in Latin America” returns dozens of titles, with an emphasis on (sometimes rough) comparisons between the democratic and moderate left (such as the Workers’ Party in Brazil and the Socialist Party in Chile) and the more radical forces with questionable tendencies in regard to democracy (as in Venezuela).