Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University


The (Too-Low but) Rising Quality of Democracy in Brazil and Chile

Conference/Workshop Proceeding

Frances Hagopian


There is a reading of democracy in both these countries that is not optimistic. In a recent assessment of the nature of Brazil's democratic regime, Kurt Weyland characterized Brazil's democracy as "low quality." He bases this characterization on Brazil's gross level of inequality and the incapacity of Brazilian civil society effectively to demand that government redress inequality. He goes on to argue that it is precisely because Brazil's democracy is of "low quality" that it can survive so well.