The Role of Organized Labour in Latin American Democratization Processes

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The comparative literature dealing with regime transItIon in Latin America since the 1970s has viewed critically the role of civil society, particularly organized labour, in promoting democracy. While seen as positive for furthering democratization and liberalization during early transitional stages, subsequent mass popular action has been considered an endangerment to the stability of democratization. The time is ripe to reconsider the value of a dynamic civil society -exemplified by organized labour - in achieving quality democracy in Latin America. Specifically, since socioeconomic equality and inclusiveness are key aspects of quality democracy, it is not feasible to assume that this can be achieved without concerted efforts from those sectors that have been immobilized and excluded in current low quality Latin American democracies.