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Can Latin America's democratic transitions serve as an example for Burma?


Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi stands to take an oath at the lower house of parliament in Naypyitaw May 2, 2012.
Photo credit: 
Soe Zeya Tun/REUTERS

Michael Albertus, a post-doctoral scholar at CDDRL, co-authored a piece for Foreign Policy's Democracy Lab on the prospects of a democratic transition in Burma and the current constitution that may pose a formidable challenge. Albertus together with Victor Menaldo, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Washington, used Colombia and Chile as models of elite or military-biased democracies that were able to evolve in a more liberal direction over time. Borrowing historic examples, the authors offer concrete approaches Burma can use to ensure a smoother path towards democracy.