The crisis of political representation is pushing contemporary democracies to search for new legitimating mechanisms, including higher levels of transparency, openness and participation in political decision-making. This trend is also reaching constitution-making, an area formerly restricted to experts and representatives. Participation and inclusiveness seem to be requisites for a Constitution to be legitimate and to produce adherence.
On Friday, January 19, Pitt’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) and the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) had the pleasure of hosting a lecture by Mitchell A. Seligson, Centennial Professor of Political Science, Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor, and Professor of Sociology (by courtesy) at Vanderbilt University. Seligson is also an elected member of the General Assembly of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, and is best known for founding the Latin American Public Opinion Project, or LAPOP.
On Sunday, October 22, 2017, President Mauricio Macri’s ‘Cambiemos’ (‘Let’s Change’) coalition declared victory in Argentina’s legislative midterm elections over its main opposition, former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s ‘Unidad Ciudadana’ (‘Citizen Unity’) coalition.
On Sunday, October 15, President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela won a surprising majority in 17 of the country’s 23 states in the regional gubernatorial elections over the Democratic Unity opposition party.
The scandalous financing of several municipal candidates by the Gulf Cartel in Reynosa and Matamoros in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas in 2012[i] have not been isolated phenomena. Many news media have reported the intrusion of narcos in local (municipal) elections by not only financing specific candidates, but also by threatening or assassinating candidates. Why have narcos been investing resources to interfere in municipal elections?