lundi 17 janvier 2011

A surge to the center

By Michael Shifter

Latin America, long associated with sharp ideological swings and notably erratic politics, is increasingly settling into the middle of the left-right political continuum. This development is discernible in voter attitudes and major policy directions in many countries. At times, the rhetoric that political leaders employ and the ways in which they describe themselves can obscure this trend and give the impression that ideology is more salient than it actually is.

Although ideology still dominates the political discourse and environment in some countries, a careful examination of most approaches to economic, social, and security challenges throughout the region reveals that the ideological range within which policy is made has considerably narrowed. There is today a greater measure of predictability and pragmatism.

This article appears in the January 2011 Journal of Democracy (Volume 22, Number 1).

A full footnooted version in PDF is available here.