Estado y democracia en América Latina: una revisión crítica de los estudios sobre sus vínculos
The article addresses the way in which the link between state and democracy in Latin America has been analyzed in the last three decades. The revaluation of democracy that began in the eighties coincided with a climate of disenchantment with the state that led to policies that encouraged its indiscriminate reduction. This disagreement had severe consequences for the development and deepening of the new democracies because, a weak state undermines its chances of fulfilling its promise of citizenship. The predominant democratic theory still did not consider the state as part of the democratic construction. In Latin America, this perception underwent a turnaround from the 1990s when a new agenda emerged that assigned the state a prominent role as a support for democracy. In this text we will focus on some representative contributions of this theoretical turn -especially we will be based on the reflections of Guillermo O’Donnell on this subject-, and then we will review the investigations that in the last two and a half decades, contributed new evidences that contribute to update and give more precision to this approach.
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