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Assessing Participatory Democracy In Brazil And Chile: An Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The processes of democratic transition and consolidation in Latin America, which started in the 1980s, continue to attract the attention of a large number of social scientists. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a series of studies seeking to determine the main characteristics of the new democracies, which either compare them with previous democratic experiences or underline the elements of continuity or rupture with the preceding authoritarian regime. In the case of Brazil, the efforts to expand citizen participation mechanisms have been organized effectively around the struggle for 'citizenship'. This has involved a great effort deployed by the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) and other sectors of the democratic left to reinforce the popular sectors' awareness of their duties and rights as citizens. In the Chilean case, however, the issue of citizenship has failed to be effectively incorporated into the national political debate or the mobilization of the popular sectors.

Keywords: Brazil; Chile; citizenship; Latin America; participatory democracy; Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT)



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