Red de Desarrollo Social de América Latina y el Caribe
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Americas Barometer. Pulse of Democracy 2023


Autor institucional : Vandervilt University
Autor/Autores: Noam Lupu, Mariana Rodríguez, Carole J. Wilson, Elizabeth J. Zechmeister (eds)
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Alcance geográfico: Latinoamericano
Publicado en: Estados Unidos
Descargar: Descargar PDF
Resumen: When these conditions are met, people trust their political institutions and are less motivated to emigrate. These conclusions are evident in our lab’s analyses of data from the 10th round of the AmericasBarometer—a project that takes the pulse of democracy in the Western Hemisphere. If good governance and inclusive growth constitute two metrics against which the public determines its commitment to democracy and its willingness to stay rooted in place, then what does the LAC scorecard look like on these two dimensions? Good governance is effective, responsive, and transparent. On this dimension, our assessment is mixed. On average, bribe solicitation by public servants has returned to the more modest levels recorded prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which temporarily ushered in new opportunities for corruption at all levels of governance. As an example of the type of cross-national variation we often find underneath regionwide averages, Uruguay stands as an exemplar of clean governance in individuals’ dealings with government officials, whereas Nicaragua ranks highest for this type of corruption. Yet while street-level corruption has declined, the public remains worried about the integrity of high-level politics. Concerns about the probity of elections are widespread and confidence in elections has declined in the region— and to a particularly striking degree in Nicaragua, Peru, and Suriname Inclusive growth is achieved when economic development delivers widespread benefits. On this dimension, the region is failing. Pessimism about national economies is at an all-time high. Household food insecurity has increased not only on average in the region but also within nearly every country. Today, close to one in three adults reports that their household has recently been without food. In Haiti, where 79% report they hope to leave the country, 78% of the public is food insecure. In the LAC region, alongside crime victimization and experiences with natural disasters, food insecurity is one of the most consistent predictors of both intentions and readiness to emigrate. Our 2021 Pulse of Democracy report noted that satisfaction with democracy held fairly steady—and even ticked slightly upward—in the midst of a pandemic that took a devastating toll on the region. Even in the face of high-level vaccine scandals, support for democracy remained stable. These days, in much of the region, patience is wearing thin. Support for and satisfaction with democracy have ticked slightly downward. Emigration intentions have declined but remain elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels. Public patience with intraregional migration is waning as well: goodwill toward Venezuelan migrants has declined notably in high-receiving countries. To be sure, democracy is under stress—and even duress— in a number of countries in the region. For example, in the shadow of a high-level corruption scandal, unfounded challenges to electoral results, and an unsuccessful executive coup, Peruvians’ confidence in elections has declined substantially. In Ecuador, the public reports a level of crime victimization higher than any previous year for the country, and the highest in the region. And amidst a severe inflationary crisis and related social unrest, the public in Suriname has become far less committed to democracy and far less confident in democratic institutions. These shifts—and others detailed in this report—matter. For example, disenchantment with the status quo became so widespread in countries like El Salvador and Mexico in recent years that new, anti-establishment leaders have been able to use their popularity to undermine accountability and erode democratic institutions with the public’s approval—a path to democratic backsliding that has become all too common around the world. Still, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of democracy in the LAC region. Younger age cohorts arecomparatively more committed to democracy than previous generations were when they were young. And majorities across the region, especially in South America, are calling for development plans that prioritize environmental protections. Support for same-sex marriage continues to rise in tandem with progressive legal shifts in many countries. These opinion dynamics suggest public demand for democracy, sustainable development, and social inclusion will persist into the future. Realizing that potential requires domestic and international commitments to clean government and improving the capacity of institutions to deliver quality public goods and services. Data from 10 rounds of the AmericasBarometer show that it takes good governance and inclusive growth to bolster public demand for democracy, trust in democratic institutions, and interest in staying rooted in place.



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