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Political discontent and technological evolution in Latin America

We are in the presence of a demos, a politically organized society which has been undergoing changes in Latin America and the world, while politics has remained stagnant. Español, Português

#NiUnaMenos demonstration in Rio de Janeiro. Some rights reserved.

This piece is an excerpt from an original article published as part of the eBook El ecosistema de la Democracia Abierta series, which can be found here.

We are currently witnesses to an infinite number of political and social changes, that are in part motivated by technological advances and access to the internet.

We find ourselves in an age in which political parties, traditional leaders and public institutions lack social legitimacy. In accordance with this context, we see how in Latin America and the rest of the world different expressions of citizen discontent with politics are becoming public. 

To provide a vision grounded in this reality, this article provides the results of a study carried out with the objective of taking an in-depth look at the vital aspects of democracy in the 26 countries that make up the Americas.

It does this through the opinions of social and political leaders between 18 and 40 years old, taking into account their observations in relation to politics, parties, mobilisation, and the role of technology among other things.

This study compiled data about variables such as the democratic recession, political experimentation, political agendas and changes in political and participatory paradigms. 

Among the most important results, we found that 43% of young people surveyed in the Southern Cone, 60% in Central America, the Carribean and the Andes, and 90% in North America believe that their country is very slightly or not at all democratic. This evidences the fact that during the past two decades, upset with political institutions has been consolidated in these regions.

Finally, it can be concluded that given the abysmal disconnect between democratic political systems and society, it is possible that we are facing a surge in change of political paradigms which goes beyond mere political participation.

Something which brings alongside it the galvanization of different processes and diverse and profound structural changes that get our nations going again.

About the authors

Matías Bianchi is a political scientist with a PhD from the Institute d´Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and the director of the think tank Asuntos del Sur. He tweets as @matiasfbianchi

Matías Bianchi es un experto en ciencia política y doctorado por el Institut de'Études Políticos de París (Sciences Po) y director del grupo de reflexión Asuntos del Sur.

Cristian León es licenciado en Ciencias Políticas por la Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo” y MSc en Estudios Críticos del Desarrollo del CIDES-UMSA y actualmente investigador asociado en Asuntos del Sur, especializado en en temáticas relacionadas con internet, política, tecnología y sociedad.

Cristian León holds a degree in Political Science from the Universidad Católica Boliviana "San Pablo" and a MSc in Critical Development Studies from CIDES-UMSA, and is currently Associate Researcher at Asuntos del Sur, specializing in topics related to the internet, politics, technology and society.

Cristian León é formado em Ciência Política pela Universidade Católica Boliviana "San Pablo" e MSc em Estudos Críticos do Desenvolvimento no CIDES-UMSA e atualmente pesquisador associado no Asuntos del Sur, especializado em temas relacionados com a internet, política, tecnologia e sociedade.

Antonella Perini es licenciada en Relaciones Internacionales por la Universidad de San Andrés, magister en Relaciones Internacionales Europa-América Latina por la Universidad de Bolonia y  actualmente investigadora asociada en Asuntos del Sur.

Antonella Perini holds a degree in International Relations from the University of San Andrés, a Master in International Relations Europe-Latin America from the University of Bologna and is currently Associate Researcher at Asuntos del Sur.

Antonella Perini é licenciada em Relações Internacionais pela Universidade de San Andrés, mestrado em Relações Internacionais da América Latina pela Universidade de Bolonha e atualmente é pesquisadora associada da Asuntos del Sur.

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