UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Democracy by regions : emergence and development of a regime to protect democracy in the Americas Franco Franco, Rodolfo

Abstract

Recently regional organizations in Africa and the Americas have developed mechanisms to protect and develop democracy among their member states. Crucial to these developments has been the adoption of clauses for the ’collective protection of democracy’. Nevertheless, wide variations in the scope and reach of such mechanisms among regional organizations suggest that the so called ’global norm of democratic governance’ acquires different institutional forms across regions. Institutional developments in the Americas suggest that the norm and practice of defending elected governments within the region has produced particular institutional arrangements. Particular understandings about legitimate governance and legitimate state action within the Inter-American System structure the institutional choices available to states and decision makers within the regional construct. Regions, as are states, are social constructions which produce social realities for those belonging to them, whether states or individuals. It is possible to think of regions as social kinds, which hold an identity and enact certain patterns of interaction that can account for the type of regional arrangements they do (or do not) produce to promote democracy. Regional institutions and the mechanisms they put in place to promote and defend democracy respond to the particular historical and cultural development of each of the regions. The normative structures of the regional systems strongly influence ways in which the states within them decide to promote and develop democracy and the institutional choices they make for this aim.

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