Latin America is considered to be the most democratic of all development regions. At the same time, it is the region with the highest degree of inequality. Many Latin American economies are dependent on raw materials and commodity exports. On the one hand, this often leads to high short- or medium-term growth rates and increasing wealth for specific sections of the population, on the other hand, it increases the vulnerability against external shocks and may lead to serious long-term environmental damages. Although there have been remarkable achievements over the past years, especially concerning the economic and social development, the unequal distribution of income and wealth is still evident, leading to limited access to public goods like education, social insurance and health services for large parts of the population. Brazil is characterised by particularly large income disparities. Starting in 2013, people mobilised against social ills, corruption, raising prices in public transport and, not least, against the Fifa World Cup. For the mobilisation of protesters, social media played an important role.
In this Special Section the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) presents its research results on inequality, social transformation and democracy in Latin America.