Shared Challenges to Democracy and the Rule of Law in the Americas

Project Expert

Will Freeman
Will Freeman

Fellow for Latin America Studies

About the Project

Nearly all the countries of North, Central, and South America are democracies. They confront shared challenges when it comes to preserving democratic institutions and norms and upholding the rule of law. Polarized politics and conflict between presidents and legislatures are putting democracies to the test across the Americas. In much of South and Central America, the rule of law is also under threat. Bribery, embezzlement, and tax evasion undermine the capacity of states to provide basic public goods. Transnational criminal organizations evade or co-opt judiciaries and security forces to traffic illicit drugs, goods, and people with impunity. The crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and the fentanyl epidemic are two downstream consequences which directly impact daily life in the United States. The Project on Shared Challenges to Democracy and the Rule of Law in the Americas investigates how democracies across the hemisphere are facing up to these tests individually and together. Through roundtables, op-eds, and articles, I examine the forces driving political instability and weakening the rule of law. I also explore obstacles and opportunities facing the United States and its partners as they seek joint responses to cross-border challenges.