Pandemocracy in Latin America – Revisiting the Political and Constitutional Dimension of the Pandemic

To grapple with the underlying link between democratic unbalanced performance and dire anti-pandemic policies, two central issues deserve our utmost attention. On the one hand, it is important to strike a clear-cut distinction between ‘emergency’ and ‘exception’. In terms of analytical accuracy, conflating or misrepresenting both ideas has usually ended up jeopardizing people’s rights and freedoms. On the other hand, it is important to analyse how a flawed constitutional design and/or some decadent civic practices have undermined efficient responses, not to mention timely controls during an emergency. When unfettered executive leadership (as happens with consolidated “hyper-presidential” systems) takes place under extraordinary pandemic circumstances, ‘democratic backsliding’ looks like an inevitable self-fulfilling prophecy.