Democracy Post-1990 in Latin American


  1. The paper should focus on comparing the quality of democracy post-1990 in two Latin American countries other than Cuba, Peru and Venezuela. It should assess each country in terms of at least two of the following criteria: respect for civil liberties; horizontal accountability; the rule of law; and the extent to which elections are free and fair. If you examine other criteria, you should state what they are and why they are important.
  2. At the beginning of the paper, you should clearly summarize your argument about which country has a higher-quality democracy and why. Most of the paper should be focused on supporting your argument with evidence from the two countries.
  3. The paper should be clearly organized. It should have an introduction, a conclusion, and separate sections for each of the criteria you examine (e.g., civil liberties; horizontal accountability, etc.). You should divide these sections with section titles.
  4. The paper should involve research. You should not simply rely on the assigned readings for the class. Google Scholar and J-STOR are also good places to search for articles online.
  5. You should cite a minimum of 10 sources. At least five of these sources should be lengthy academic sources—that is, books, articles, or reports of 10 pages or more. I count as academic sources any books or articles obtained via Google Scholar or JSTOR or from the library, including documents accessed via the library’s webpage. Lengthy reports from well-known research institutions will also typically count as academic sources.
  6. You may use footnotes, endnotes, or in-text parenthetical citations to cite your sources. You should include a bibliography regardless of which citation style you use. In the social sciences, the most common citation format is in-text parenthetical citations that include the author’s last name, the year of the publication, and the page number(s) where relevant. The full citation is then provided in the bibliography.
  7. The paper should be 5-6 double-spaced pages in length, not including the bibliography. Use 12-point type and one-inch margins.
  8. Plagiarism is a very serious violation of academic regulations, which is relatively easy to detect. Do not risk it!  
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