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COUTINHO, Marcelo. Andean Democracies: coming late to the party?.Translated byPaul Freston. Dados [online]. 2007, vol.3Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0011-5258.

After a centuries-long history of oligarchical, populist, and authoritarian institutionality, in recent decades South America has begun the transition to a liberal democratic state model. This new state model harbors the contradiction of being both more democratic and less capable. In other words, it allows public participation and dissent but has less ability to respond, a role that has been largely transferred to the market, which has become globalized and more complex while experiencing difficulties in meeting social demands. The tension between democracy and economic limitations, combined with endogenous institutional problems, has sustained a climate of permanent political instability in parts of South America, reproducing fragmentations and conflicts, which are the focus of this study, a comparative analysis of five Andean countries: Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Keywords : Andean countries; political instability; social fragmentation.

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