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Revista de ciencia política (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-090X


CAMERON, MAXWELL A. The State of Democracy in the Andes: Introduction to a thematic issue of Revista de Ciencia PolíticaEl estado de la democracia en los Andes: Introducción a un número temático de la Revista de Ciencia Política. Rev. cienc. polít. (Santiago) [online]. 2010, vol.30, n.1, pp.5-20. ISSN 0718-090X.

This overview finds evidence for concern about the ability of the governments in Colombia and Venezuela to hold free and fair elections and a trend toward the concentration of executive power in most countries in the sub-region. The separation of powers has been most sharply eroded in Venezuela; but Bolivia and Ecuador are moving in a similar direction. Colombia has a robust constitutional order, including a remarkably independent judiciary, which has resisted the concentration of executive power by refusing to let the president stand for a third term. At the same time, most Andean countries are experimenting with new mechanisms of participation. There are sharp contrasts between the model of participation in Bolivia and Venezuela, two countries often lumped together by observers; and, despite ideological differences, striking similarities in the presidential styles of Presidents Uribe and Chávez. Among Andean nations, only Chile is not undergoing a revolution in participation. Finally, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador have re-written their constitutions in an attempt to encourage the exercise of constituent power. These cases exhibit variation in terms of the degree to which deliberative, pluralistic, lawful, and constitutional procedures were used.

Palabras clave : Democracy; elections; constitutions; citizenship; participation; separation of powers; presidentialism.

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