Digital Technologies for Democratic Governance in Latin America

Opportunities and Risks

Edited by Anita Breuer, Yanina Welp

© 2014 – Routledge

248 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415836135
pub: 2014-01-09
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

This book is the first to comprehensively analyse the political and societal impacts of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in a region of the Global South. It evaluates under what conditions some Latin American governments and people have succeeded in taking up the opportunities related to the spread of ICTs, while others are confronted with the pessimist scenario of increased, digitally induced social and democratic cleavages.

Specifically, the book examines if and how far the spread and use of new ICT affected central aims of democratic governance such as reducing socio-economic and gender inequality; strengthening citizen participation in political decision making; increasing the transparency of legislative processes; improving administrative processes; providing free access to government data and information; and expanding independent spaces of citizen communication. The country case and cross-country explore a range of bottom-up driven initiatives to reinforce democracy in the region.

The book offers researchers and students an interdisciplinary approach to these issues by linking it to established theories of media and politics, political communication, political participation, and governance. Giving voice to researchers native to the region and with direct experience of the region, it uniquely brings together contributions from political scientists, researchers in communication studies and area studies specialists who have a solid record in political activism and international development co-operation.

Table of Contents

1. Digital Trends in Latin American Politics (1990-2012) 2. A Latin Spring? Examining Digital Diffusion and Youth Bulges in Forecasting Political Change in Latin America 3. A Digital Sublime or Divide? The Impact of Information Communication Technology on the Poor in Latin America. 4. Designing Open Data Policies in Latin America 5. Some Notes on the Experiences with the Use of Technology and Electronic Voting in Latin America 6. South American Politics in the Information Age. A Study of Political Parties and MPs on the Net in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay 7. Crafting a new parliamentary dialogue sphere? The web and political communication in the current Venezuelan National Assembly 8. Social movements, democratic participation and ICTs 9. Social Change and Social Media: Incorporating Social Networking Sites into Activism in Latin America 10. Slacktivism or Efficiency-Increased Activism? Online Political Participation and the Brazilian Ficha Limpa Anti-Corruption Campaign 11. Social Media and Diaspora Activism: Participating in the Argentine Elections 2011 from Abroad 12. Claiming Citizenship: Web-based voice and digital media in socialist Cuba 13. Re-assessing ICT for democratic governance in Latin America (Editors’ conclusions)

About the Editors

Anita Breuer is Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute, Bonn, Germany, where her research focuses on the role of the Internet and social media in democracy promotion.

Yanina Welp is Regional Director for Latin America at the Centre for Research on Direct Democracy (c2d, University of Zurich) and Academic Program Manager of a Swiss doctoral program focused on Latin America at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland.

About the Series

Routledge Explorations in Development Studies

The series features innovative and original research at the regional and global scale. Its scope extends to scholarly works that take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach.

In terms of theory and method, rather than basing itself on any one orthodoxy, the series draws broadly on the tool kit of the social sciences in general, emphasizing comparison, the analysis of the structure and processes, and the application of qualitative and quantitative methods.

The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from junior authors. To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy