Making Democracy Count: A Southern Perspective

For almost a decade, Latin American citizens have been showing increasing levels of disaffection for their institutions, politics, and political elites. Rates of electoral participation are declining, traditional political parties are losing support, and new political movements are challenging the status quo.

At the core of this crisis are questions about the legitimacy of the very democratic institutions that were critical in Latin America's transition from dictatorship to democracy only decades earlier.

This project will look at the conditions that create a public "malaise" toward the established political order, comparing Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. The cases of Chile and Argentina were chosen because public disaffection toward government and the political elite are most evident. Uruguay was chosen as a control case to assess why these negative expressions toward the state and traditional elites have not been as explicit or evident.

The project will assess the expressions of citizen discontent toward political elites in Latin America since 2000 by evaluating the causes of disaffection, distrust, and disapproval. Quantitative and qualitative measures will be used to measure these three dimensions.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, July 23, 2012

End Date

Thursday, July 23, 2015


36 months

IDRC Officer

Ceballos, Florencio

Total funding

CA$ 507,700


Argentina, South America, Chile, Uruguay, North and Central America, West Indies


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Alfredo Joignant Rondon


Universidad Diego Portales

Institution Country


Institution Website