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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: March 2012

Chapter V - Good Governance in the Western Hemisphere: The Unit for Promotion of Democracy, currently the Organization for Promotion of Democracy



This chapter examines the role of the OAS in the regional promotion of democracy from 1991 to 2005. The key question is to determine the role and influence of the OAS in the democratic consolidation efforts of its member states. Democratic consolidation is only one dimension among many within the good governance multifaceted issue-area. In addition to democratic consolidation, the achievement of good governance includes: 1) the strengthening of the constitutional framework, and legal and party systems; 2) judicial reform; 3) the protection of minority rights; 4) the protection of private property and intellectual property rights; 5) the confrontation of corruption; 6) a free press, and many others.

When considering democratic consolidation and good governance, it is important to point out that the issues enumerated here should not be considered as necessarily sequenced or directly linked to each other in any specific order. They are listed here only as examples of some very important aspects, but certainly not the only ones, that need to be considered when thinking about this issue. Also, the issues listed above should not be seen as the only matters of concern that need to be contemplated when exploring how democratic consolidation and good governance are achieved. As Felipe Agüero (1998, 4) correctly points out, the primary angle or dimension of analysis chosen for the study of one or more cases is one of the factors influencing the analysis of democracy.

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