CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Feoli and MacKinnon's book on representation and effectiveness in Latin America published

May 10th, 2013

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research are proud to announce the publication of Dr. Ludovico Feoli and Dr. Moira MacKinnon‘€™s new book: Representation and Effectiveness in Latin American Democracies: Congress, Judiciary and Civil Society. Dr. Ludovico Feoli is the Director of the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research and Dr. Moira MacKinnon is a former CIPR post-doctoral fellow, currently teaching at the Universidad Tres de Febrero in Argentina. The book is part of the Routledge Series in Latin American Politics. Copies of the book can be purchased here.

Legislatures, the judiciary and civil society are important actors in representative democracies. In what ways and how well do they represent? And how effectively do they carry out their institutional and social roles? Both questions refer to the key dimensions of democracy analyzed in this book: representativeness and effectiveness, respectively. While they have been developed separately in scholarly work on institutions and regimes, there is little work considering them simultaneously, and on their interaction. Using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, contributions from top scholars in the field of legislatures, the judiciary and civil society examine these two concepts and their relationships in four Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.

Designed to guide the reader through the complexities of this debate, each expert engages in a larger set of theoretical debates about different approaches to representation in each sphere. In doing so, they debate how effectively these spheres carry out their roles in each country: whether a congress is institutionalized, its accountability, and its performance as a lawmaker; whether a judicial system is independent, carries out oversight, and protects citizen rights; and the role of civil society in a representative democracy.

Representation and Effectiveness in Latin American Democracies is a timely and welcomed contribution to the to the growing debate about the quality of democracy in Latin America, and the developing world more generally.