By Leonardo Avritzer

It is a daring new examine of the hot emergence of democracy in Latin the United States. Leonardo Avritzer exhibits that conventional theories of democratization fall brief in explaining this phenomenon. students have lengthy held that the postwar balance of Western Europe finds that limited democracy, or "democratic elitism," is the single reasonable approach to protect opposed to forces similar to the mass mobilizations that toppled eu democracies after international battle I. Avritzer demanding situations this view. Drawing at the principles of J?rgen Habermas, he argues that democracy might be way more inclusive and will depend on a sphere of self reliant organization and argument through voters. He makes this argument by means of exhibiting that democratic collective motion has unfolded a brand new "public house" for well known participation in Latin American politics.Unlike many theorists, Avritzer builds his case empirically. He appears at human rights hobbies in Argentina and Brazil, local institutions in Brazil and Mexico, and election-monitoring projects in Mexico. Contending that such participation has no longer long gone a long way sufficient, he proposes how to contain electorate much more at once in coverage judgements. for instance, he issues to experiments in "participatory budgeting" in Brazilian towns. finally, the idea that of this type of house past the achieve of nation management fosters a broader view of democratic hazard, of the cultural transformation that spurred it, and of the tensions that persist, in a zone the place democracy is either new and varied from the previous international versions.

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Extra resources for Democracy and the Public Space in Latin America

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In the second part, I address two major criticisms of the concept of public sphere—that it posits a homogeneous space and restricts social actors to defensive action—and propose two revisions. The first is an attempt to connect identity and rationality, showing that the public sphere is where the presentation of difference by collective actors takes place (Melucci, 1996). This process is central to constructing a new form of democratic politics. The second revision has to do with the possibility of non-particularistic forms of collective action providing the foundation for democratic public deliberation.

Individuals within a democratic public sphere discuss and deliber- THE PUBLIC SPACE THEORY 41 ate about political issues and adopt strategies for making the political authorities sensitive to their discussions and deliberations. Thus, the public space establishes a dynamic within politics driven neither by the defense of particularistic interests nor by the attempt to concentrate power with the aim of dominating other individuals. On the contrary, the public use of reason establishes a relation between participation and public argumentation.

10 In 1973, only two Latin American countries had democratically elected presidents (Huntington, 1991). An analysis of the sources of the breakdown of democracy in Latin America reveals two facts, each equally problematic for the theory of democratic elitism: either the most important democratic elitist assumptions, such as its analysis of mass society and the rationality of elites, were clearly contradicted, or they were at least unable to explain the so-called second reverse wave of democratization.

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