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16/10/2018

Why Latin America is a hotbed of political innovation

  • The world can look to Latin America as a source of inspiration for how citizens can reclaim and advance democracy.
  • More than 600 initiatives in L.A. are trying to close the gap between citizens and governments by increasing political participation.

Feb. 8.– For the past decade, as trust in institutions has declined around the globe, politics in many countries has seemingly turned into a contest pitting self-interested “elites” against everyone else. And as the conviction that “elites” don’t represent the interests of “the people” has become increasingly common, two alternative ways forward have become ascendant, too.

One path is rooted in populism and represented by the building of walls, both literal and figurative. The other is inclusive, and founded on collaboration and trust.

After years of authoritarian rule in many countries, a wave of political innovation is sweeping across Latin America. A 20th century model of government is slowly but surely giving way to more participatory and inclusive democracies in the 21st century. No longer do Latin American citizens and governments have to rely on trends and practices in the United States and Europe.

The world can look to Latin America as a source of inspiration for how citizens can reclaim and advance democracy. There’s a sense that it is being done better and differently in Latin America because that’s the only way to tackle its most deeply rooted problems, including economic inequality, social injustice, corruption, racism, sexism, and environmental degradation ...

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