The complexity of democratic transitions in Latin America and the importance of how human rights and democracy are linked is evaluated by top scholars.
Questions about democracy and human rights have emerged in the advent of the 21st century, a time in which the prospects for progress in these areas have never been greater. This book is designed to respond to some of these questions with reference to Latin America, where democratic regimes have alternated with authoritarian governments and the human rights record is inconsistent at best. Taken together, these essays reveal the complexity of democratic transitions, the importance of support for human rights, and the way in which democracy and human rights are linked in Latin America.
The first part of the book includes chapters that cast a critical eye on democracy and human rights trends in Chile, Venezuela, Columbia, and Brazil. Part two gauges the impact and prospects of foreign initiatives promoting democracy and human rights in the region, focusing especially on those efforts made by the United States in Haiti and Cuba. Each chapter reaffirms the essential linkages between procedural democracy and substantive human rights, and argues that states with authoritarian pasts must reorient their political cultures, and that these initiatives must come from both domestic and international agents. Students and scholars interested in the problems and prospects inherent in democratic transitions in contemporary Latin America will find this collection enlightening.