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Strategies of Secession and Counter-Secession

Past and Current Challenges to Democratic Representation: Insights from Latin America

Comparative Politics
Latin America
Referendums and Initiatives
Social Movements
Section Number
Section Chairs
Saskia Ruth-Lovell
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Nina Wiesehomeier
IE School of Global and Public Affairs
Section Co-Chair

The increasing dissatisfaction with the workings of representative democracy in Latin America and beyond calls for a reflection and re-evaluation of our core understanding of its institutional design. To make representative democracy work is a challenge, and some of the tensions, pitfalls, and effects of institutional designs such as executive-legislative politics, the role of the military in democracies, institutional and constitutional engineering, or elite capture of democratic institutions, have been central themes in studies on Latin American politics. Yet, more recently, democracy and representative institutions, in particular, seem to be under pressure in a multiplicity of ways, not the least due to the breakthrough of radical actors and ideas into the political mainstream, challenging established structures, often leading to pernicious polarization. In this sense, the role of protest and social movements and the potential of democratic innovations to regenerate representative democracy require increased scholarly attention.

We invite scholars to submit proposals that consider some or several of these themes and their implications for Latin America and beyond. The section is open to all methodological approaches and specifically welcomes panels that engage with and combine different methodological and theoretical approaches across regions and subfields. We therefore encourage panel submissions exploring these themes across local, national and supranational levels of analysis, supply- and demand side approaches, with an emphasis on methodological diversity. Preference will be given to panels that reflect the diversity of our research community in terms of gender, ethnicity, age, and rank.

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