The Pragmatic Turn of Democracy in Latin America

31 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2013

Date Written: 2013


In recent years, participatory and deliberative experiments have increasingly become an integral part of the process of democratic consolidation in Latin America. Given the speed with which they have been multiplied and institutionalized, a reassessment of democratization in Latin America seems necessary. This paper argues that a number of countries on the continent have taken a pragmatic turn, which can be read also as a detour from the democratic consolidation expected by third-wave scholars. Such pragmatic turn of democracy in Latin America does not imply substituting representative institutions for alternative, participatory or deliberative innovations, but rather using the latters as means to correct some of the alleged failures of the formers, as well as to attain social ends that they seem unable to achieve. The new, experimental pragmatic democracies of Latin America would then gradually displace the defective, delegative or pseudo ones, as the paper further claims.

Keywords: democracy, participation, deliberation, latin america

Suggested Citation

Pogrebinschi, Thamy, The Pragmatic Turn of Democracy in Latin America (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper; American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting. Available at SSRN:

Thamy Pogrebinschi (Contact Author)

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
Berlin, 10785

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