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Democratic Transitions and Consolidation in Contemporary Southern Europe and Latin America

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This article analyzes the prospects of consolidation of these "new democracies" comparatively, both in terms of the global background of democratization and of inner factors relative to their political culture, popular participation, state regulation and the institutionalization of conflict management. It claims that the future of the democratic regimes of Latin America seems uncertain when compared to the Southern European polities, due to the combination of populistic pressures and a social organic view of the state, that may lead eventually to a swing of the political pendulum back to authoritarianism. It discusses conditions, such as a post-ideological stance, that may facilitate democratic consolidation, by allowing political forces to forward the cause of dissent without delegitimating Latin American democratic systems.


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