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When Democracy Isn’t All That Democratic: Social Exclusion and the Limits of the Public Sphere

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Title: When Democracy Isn’t All That Democratic: Social Exclusion and the Limits of the Public Sphere
País: United States
Idioma: English
Fuente: Fuente: American Political Science Association ConferenceFuente: American Political Science Association Conference
Reseña: This paper argues that many of the challenges faced by Latin American democracies today and the long term implications of those challenges for democratic stability in the region can be usefully understood in terms of their impact on the public sphere. The first section develops a theoretical framework for understanding the public sphere as the nexus between civil society and the state. The second section then examines the nature of the public sphere in Latin America and the ways in which large segments of the population are effectively marginalized from actively participating in it. More specifically, the narrowness of the public sphere is discussed in terms of two inter-related dimensions: the dominant mode of interest intermediation, what I call neopluralism, and the growing gap between the general population and the political elite. The section concludes with a case study of Chile after the return of democratic government in 1990. The final section of the paper briefly discusses the need to fill the growing public void in Latin America and some possible steps to take.


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