Latin America: A Surge to the Center

Issue Date January 2011
Volume 22
Issue 1
Page Numbers 107-121
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Latin America’s expanding links to the rest of the world are resulting in swelling middle classes and a move towards more pragmatic, centrist politics. Despite some exceptions and sharp differences among the countries, most of the region is confronting economic, social and security challenges within a narrower ideological range than in the past. Brazil’s progress stands out in this regard. Successful performance has eluded countries with a more marked ideological orientation such as Venezuela. But Latin American leaders will need to avoid complacency, and respond to mounting demands—as revealed in recent electoral results in Chile, Colombia and Brazil—for more honest and effective approaches to governing.

About the Author

Michael Shifter is president of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C., and adjunct professor of Latin American studies at Georgetown University. He is the editor (with Jorge I. Domínguez) of Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America (3rd edition, 2008).

View all work by Michael Shifter