About the book
(Re)democratization in much of Latin America has had to confront a legacy of civil war or political repression, as well as the social dilemmas inherent in the integration of the region into the global market-based economy. This book examines democratic transition and consolidation in post-authoritarian and post-civil war Latin America. Its central premise is that the fundamental prerequisite of democracy is the existence of a polity of 'political society', something that has been weak or under threat. A range of issues are embraced: dealing with past abuses of human rights; integrating societies into global market economics; the role of civil society; the problems of achieving a sense of citizenship in many communities; the perennial 'ethnicity issue'; and the pervading gap between the procedure and the substance of democracy. The norm of democracy is becoming embedded in regional and national politics but the authors suggest that the journey to meaningful democracy is unfinished.