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During the past 25 years, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced the progressive consolidation of democratic freedoms, and political actors and citizens have accepted the rules of the electoral game. The current challenge is now to ensure that democratic institutions endure and are consolidated and strengthened by such processes. The present study focuses precisely on these institutions. It examines prevailing reform trends as well as the principal governance challenges confronting the region. It is our thesis that while the interactions, negotiations, and agreements among political actors are certainly significant, even more significant are the institutions within which such interactions take place.

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