*Brazil and Chile* by Frances Hagopian

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Brazil and Chile

Hagopian vents her frustration towards the democratization of Latin American countries by describing it as “flawed both because it does not take account of differences across the region and because it is overly static” (pg.1). The clarity in transitioning into a democracy in Latin American countries has not been defined uniformly that there are clear differences amongst the effectiveness of democracy in specific countries. Hagopian specifically uses Chile and Brazil as her examples of “the dimensions of Democratic quality.” She uses these two countries as a comparison to distinguish the characteristics of a “good” democracy, which would include both the participation and satisfaction of the citizens of the country.

Amongst most of the Latin American countries, Chile and Brazil has become amongst the strongest democratic countries and can become a lot stronger with improvements. However, both countries vary in strengths between different dimensions of quality that defines a “good” democracy. These variances are analyzed by Hagopian to determine the degree of effectiveness by considering accountability, participation and responsiveness between governance and individuals as a reciprocal relationship. Recommendable changes are necessary for both Chile and Brazil to continuously prosper politically, civilly and together economically. Although both Chile and Brazil are developing predominant democratic reputations, their contrasts in democratic dimensions differ greatly. For example, human rights are protected in Chile, but in Brazil the authoritative figures are the ones who have all the freedom. In 2002, Chile ranked the seventeenth “least corrupt country in the world” (pg. 7). Unlike Chile’s respected reputation for unions and freedom of speech, in Brazil the police were allowed to beat suspects into submission of guilt. Brazil’s renowned corruption can be further demonstrated in 1992 with the impeachment of President Fernando Collor de Mello,...
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