Democratic Governance and Exclusion: Growth, Equality of Opportunity and Implications for U.S. Policy toward Latin America

Nashville, TN, United States of America
over 3 years
Project Goals: 

The Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), based at Vanderbilt University, is a leader in the development, implementation and analysis of public opinion surveys. LAPOP's 2010 Americas Barometer Survey covered 26 countries and included 43,990 respondents. The survey focused on the influence of cultural values on income inequality within Latin America and seemed to point to four significant points: 1) during times of economic crisis, good governance significantly impacts citizens' confidence in democracy, 2) skin color has a noteworthy effect on household wealth, 3) citizen confidence is higher in social rather than political institutions, and 4) police corruption and crime weaken citizens' trust in democratic institutions.

The Tinker Foundation is supporting LAPOP’s efforts to expand its survey into Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. LAPOP will expand its survey questions to include a measure of economic and political marginalization through objective and subjective measures of inequality in experiences of discrimination. LAPOP will develop a round of survey questions related to gender attitudes and experiences of discrimination and formulate questions that will explore how gender norms affect political attitudes, not only ideology and voting behavior, but also attitudes on issues such as abortion and policies related to family and sexuality. With this data, LAPOP will assess the means and mode of marginalization in Latin America and how this may be undermining key values that are crucial for the development of a democratic political culture. LAPOP will also be working to improve its U.S. information dissemination initiatives through a series of workshops and special topic reports.

Project Director: 
Mitchell A. Seligson
(615) 322-6238