LAS 402/POL 461 Latin American Studies Seminar: Direct and Participatory Democracy in Latin America

Latin America has experienced a revolution in citizen participation in recent decades. Hundreds of millions have participated in thousands of new institutions that bring ordinary people directly into government decision-making, in the hope that these new forms of engagement will improve public services, decrease inequality, and strengthen democracy. After decades of experimentation, we can finally take stock of the participatory turn in Latin America. Our primary goal in this course, then, will be to understand whether new democratic innovations have lived up to high expectations many have placed in them, and if so, under what condition.

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