Political Culture and Citizenship in Latin America

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Luis Ochoa Bilbao
Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

Political culture in Latin America is a relevant theme because the democratic wave, economic changes, and social movements of the last decades have gone from enthusiastic optimism to the beginnings of the skepticism and uneasiness of the moment. On the other hand, the solutions Latin American nations have sought for old challenges have been as varied as the theoretical and empirical attempts to explain them. The only certainty is that looking at Latin American political culture at this moment holds a universe of rich possibilities.   

This issue seeks to review Latin American political culture posing some questions: Can we talk about “one” Latin American political culture or “several”, even within the same country? Is it possible to carry out objective comparative analyses or does the diversity of political models and practices in the region forces us to be more cautious? Are there persistent cultural phenomena through time that remain ingrained in the model and character of institutions, or can the social movements, ethnic demands, and social media, understood as new actors, change political cultures that seem immutable?

These questions can stimulate essays about daily political practices, institutional challenges and democratic models, as well as the configuration and reconfiguration of collective imaginaries that go from the local to the national and the regional. In this context, can we imagine the emergence of new forms of citizenship? If the neoliberal model of citizenship seems to subsume, in varying degrees and ways, the always failed liberal model and even the noisy populist models, are not the new actors and modes of politics proposing alternative models of citizenship? All this, indubitably, is linked to the challenges of representation and legitimacy faced by governments, the crisis of trust that political parties are suffering, and the profound problems of inequality, injustice and impunity that, in varying degrees, assail the region.

We invite abstracts of no more than 400 words by February 28, 2016.

Essays should not exceed 8,000 words. They may be written in Spanish, English and/or Portuguese and should include an abstract and a short bio of the author or authors. Style guidelines may be found at: http://alternativas.osu.edu/en/guidelines.html

Final essays will be accepted until June 30, 2016.

Abstract and essays should be sent to Luis Ochoa Bilbao to the following e-mail addresses with the subject Abstract Alternativas and Paper Alternativas, respectively: luis.ochoa@correo.buap.mx or ochoabuap@gmail.com