The Impossibility of Legitimate Order in Contemporary Latin American Societies
Juan Pablo Luna
Associate Professor of Political Science, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Scholarly debates about the nature of democratic contestation and legitimate representation have at their heart one of the most crucial challenges humanity faces today: How can we govern contemporary democratic societies in ways that recover and expand our democratic ideals, while producing legitimate order? Luna reapproaches this question with a theory that analytically reassesses the state, and, especially, state-society interactions across multiple territorial arenas engaging different societal actors/social groups. Using qualitative vignettes and descriptive data, he illustrates how these interactions are fundamentally reshuffling the state structures within which intermediate institutions operate. His talk will explain his findings 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.