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Research Article

Deepening Democracy Through Public Deliberation? Reflections from the Province Huanta in the Peruvian Andes

Author:

Maria-Therese Gustafsson

Department of political science, Stockholm University, Sweden, SE
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Abstract

En los últimos años se han realizado intentos de encuadrar la participación deliberativa dentro de la teoría de la democratización. Leonardo Avritzer, uno de los mas optimísticos teóricos de la democracia deliberativa sostiene que las nuevas prácticas democráticas se desplazarán del nivel social a la sociedad política en un ‘espacio público deliberativo’, consolidando de este modo la democracia. Razonando en contra de la ola de idealización y de las concepciones normativas de la democracia deliberativa, este artículo trata los intentos políticos gubernamentales de lograr un proceso político de negociación y participación en el seno de la sociedad civil en la provincia de Huanta, en los Andes peruanos. El estudio abarca el período autoritario del ex presidente Alberto Fujimori (1996–2001) y el subsiguiente régimen democrático (2001–2006). El artículo procura demostrar que los estratos marginados de la población no son capaces de explorar plenamente los potenciales políticos y económicos de los procesos políticos deliberativos si no son respaldados por organizaciones externas e instituciones estatales. Al contrario, estos sectores corren el riesgo de ser explotados aún en mayor medida que antes, al ser abdicado el poder del Estado en beneficio de los tradicionales detentadores del poder, individuales y colectivos.

English:

In recent years attempts have been made to ground deliberatory participation into democratization theory. Leonardo Avritzer, one of the most optimistic proponents of deliberative democracy, states that new democratic practices will be transferred from the societal level to political society in ‘deliberative public space’, thus consolidating democracy. This article deals with governmental political attempts to achieve a political process of negotiation and participation within civil society in the province Huanta in the Peruvian Andes. In this respect, it goes against the wave of idealization and the normative assumptions of deliberative democracy. The study spans the authoritarian period of the former President Alberto Fujimori, 1996–2001, and the subsequent democratic regime of 2001–2006. The article aims to demonstrate that the marginalized strata of the population will not be able to fully develop the political and economical potentials of the deliberatory political processes unless they are backed by external organizations and state institutions. Rather, these strata will risk being even more exploited than before, when the state’s power is abdicated to the benefit of traditional individual and collective power-holders.

How to Cite: Gustafsson, M.-T., (2010). Deepening Democracy Through Public Deliberation? Reflections from the Province Huanta in the Peruvian Andes. Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 39(1-2), pp.139–165. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16993/ibero.73
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Published on 01 Nov 2010.
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