Seminarios del IPP: "Despite Our Differences: Accounting for Democracies’ Support for Illiberal Governments in the Institutionalization of UNASUR’s Electoral Missions"

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Por Giovanni Agostinis (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Organiza: Francisco Herreros (IPP-CSIC)

Abstract : Why do democratic states agree with illiberal regimes on the creation of regional institutions whose effects may undermine democracy? The paper tackles this puzzle by analyzing the creation of the Union of South American Nations’ (UNASUR) Electoral Council (ECU) and its electoral missions. We show that the emergence of the ECU and its missions resulted from the interaction of the following conditions: Venezuela’s leadership initiative, the mobilization of the transgovernmental network of South American electoral authorities, and the interaction among  different sets of state preferences that reached an equilibrium around an institutional design that did not impose diminutions of sovereignty on the contracting states. The paper sheds light on the genesis of sovereignty-protective institutional designs. The paper also contributes to the literature on international electoral observation by explaining why democratic states accept the emergence of monitoring mechanisms that can legitimize dubious elections and contribute to democratic backsliding in a region. 

BioGiovanni Agostinis is Assistant Professor at the Instituto de Ciencia Política of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. His research focuses on the design and effects of regional institutions, with a focus on Latin America. He is currently conducting a comparative research project on the modes and effects of regional health governance in Europe and Latin America. He has published in Review of International Studies (forthcoming), International Studies Review,Governance, and Journal of Common Market Studies, among others. 

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