The world is facing an erosion of democratic institutions. But this erosion is not an equal opportunity offender. Elections, a standard feature of democracy, have rarely been more popular. Today, democrats and autocrats alike employ elections to legitimize their rule. At first glance, we might be encouraged by this. However, despite this potentially positive trend,…
Since World War II, international organizations – entities like the African Union, Arab League, Council of Europe and the Commonwealth – have suspended member states ninety-five times. While some intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) suspend states after financial, economic, or military violations, the vast majority of IGO suspensions happen in response to political backsliding – such as human rights violations, coups democratic recession, or flawed elections.
An original survey I conducted with support from the FSU Office of Research shows that more than 60% of Bolivians surveyed opposed President Morales’ stated intentions to pursue a fourth consecutive term in office. If correct, the same majority of Bolivian voters that brought President Morales to power may hold the seeds of his electoral demise. Whether President Morales will concede the logic of majoritarianism when said majority seeks to end his tenure, is a central question for the future of Bolivian democracy.
Our work raises some cautionary notes. As the composition of the media landscape continues to evolve, changes in how outlets cover important political issues may also have repercussions for the quality of our ongoing national conversation. Similarly, our findings appear to be in line with the notion that coordinated campaigns pushing misinformation (whether through established news outlets or newly invented ones) can have a surprisingly large impact in this era of online media consumption.