The Impossibility of Legitimate Order in Contemporary Latin American Societies
Juan Pablo Luna
Associate Professor of Political Science, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Current scholarly debates about the nature of democratic contestation and legitimate representation have focused on democratic backsliding and the incursion of populism and oligarchy. At the heart of these debates is one of the most crucial challenges human civilization faces today: How can we govern contemporary democratic societies in ways that recover and expand our democratic ideals, while producing legitimate order? These approaches fail to carefully consider the arena within which regime and representation are embedded: the structure of the state. In this talk, Luna reapproaches this question with a theory that analytically reassesses the state, and especially state-society interactions. He illustrates that a legitimate democratic order is becoming more difficult to realize because the power of the modern democratic state is not only being challenged from above, but also from below, by societal actors that defy the state and its institutions.