Democratic Backsliding and COVID-19: A Constitutional Pandemic?




Dean, Carleigh

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As of February 2021, the novel coronavirus has created the greatest public health emergency of the century, infecting over 100 million people and killing more than two million people across the globe (World Health Organization, 2021). The rapid spread of Covid-19 has led to institutional breakdowns, such as public health systems that continue to struggle with the management of such a large influx of infected patients, border closures, and lockdowns of entire nations. As this research demonstrates, the coronavirus pandemic has provoked an increase in authoritarian behavior worldwide. In fact, authoritarian political behavior has been on the rise in well-established liberal democracies that were supposed to have “robust constitutional protections of fundamental rights” (Thompson & Ip, 2020, p. 4). Despite the global scope of Covid-19 with respect to authoritarian tendencies, this research project focuses on Iberoamerican countries, with a special focus on Brazil, Bolivia, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.



COVID-19, authoritarianism, Iberoamerica, democratic decline