In the 1980s, the Andean region appeared to be implementing the recipe for success: market reforms plus democratic opening. However, the dream unraveled. This article describes the malaise regarding democracy that has enveloped the region and connects it with neoliberal adjustments. On the one hand, it claims that the expectation that economic and political liberalism buttress each other naturally is wrong. On the other, it shows that there is no direct relation between democratic vulnerability and neoliberalism. Instead, the global forces behind neoliberal programs simultaneously block exit from democracy and the possibility of articulating voice within it – which explains the proliferation of “semi-democratic” forces and forms of governance.
International Political Science Review (2005) 26 (1) 125-139 [doi:10.1177/0192512105047900]