Research News

Democracy threatened in Latin America and Caribbean, new data shows

The fragile state of democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean will be discussed during an event Sept. 26 at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami.

Elizabeth Zechmeister (Vanderbilt University)

“The Political Culture of Democracy in the Americas” will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at FIU, and will be streamed live. It will mark the debut of a report on the public’s experience with democracy and governance in Latin American and the Caribbean region as assessed by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) as part of the 2016/17 AmericasBarometer.

“While democracy in the region is on the defensive against an increasingly cynical public and pressing problems such as corruption and insecurity, the report does find some evidence of democratic resilience,” said Elizabeth J. Zechmeister, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University and director of LAPOP, which is housed at Vanderbilt. “When facing challenging conditions, citizens often step up their engagement in efforts to improve their circumstances in areas in which they can act.”

The event is free and open to the public.

LAPOP is the premier academic institution carrying out surveys of public opinion in the Americas, with more than 40 years of experience. LAPOP’s AmericasBarometer is the only scientifically rigorous comparative survey project that covers 34 nations in the Americas.

Panel Discussions

LAPOP researchers will be joined by other experts to discuss key findings from the latest AmericasBarometer survey. They are:

Noam Lupu (Vanderbilt University)

First panel: “A Comparative Study of Democracy and Governance,” with Zechmeister; Noam Lupu, associate professor of political science at Vanderbilt and associate director of LAPOP; Barry Levitt, associate professor of politics and international relations at the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center at FIU; and Gabriela Hoberman, assistant director of research programs and services in the Extreme Events Institute at FIU.

Second panel: “The Challenges of Democratic Governance in the Andes: Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela,” with Miguel Garcia Sánchez, associate professor of Universidad de los Andes, Colombia; Daniel Montalvo, program manager at LAPOP; Mariana Rodriguez, program coordinator at LAPOP; and Astrid Arrarás, associate director of undergraduate studies at FIU.

LAPOP projects are supported by USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and Vanderbilt University.