Negotiations within Latin American Countries

In the past, some negotiated decision-making existed within Latin America's traditional, centralized decision-making framework. The interests represented within these negotiations were commonly limited to a select group, and they functioned within the prominent system of corporatism that has existed in the governments of Latin America for many years. Furthermore, the traditional negotiation style within Latin America is associated with nonverbal, informal, high-context communication, stressing long-term relationships among the parties involved and preoccupation with status and saving face [4-7]. Within Latin America, this style of negotiated decision-making, relying on informal relations and politico-technical methods rather than truly inclusive negotiations, has been institutionalized due to traditional political actors' practice of imposing their will and the absence of widespread political participation by the public [4].

Although many of these characteristics of governance still exist, much of the recent literature focuses on Latin American countries' movement toward greater democracy and the associated societal pluralism [8-14]. Compared to the situation 30 years ago, the majority of Latin American countries have made substantial progress toward greater transparency and increased public participation in their public policymaking process [12-14]. That said, it is also true that much of Latin America is still early in democratic transition, functioning under a system that is a combination of the traditional, centralized, elite-controlled decision-making and the more democratic, pluralistic decision-making that includes negotiations [15,16]. Our research adds to the existing literature on negotiations by expanding the discussion on democracy and negotiations with the inclusion of the Mexican and Ecuadorian cases. We examine the expansion of democratic legitimacy in two Latin American countries in the midst of complex transitions toward democracy and thus undertaking increasingly more inclusive multi-party environmental negotiations.

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

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