America’s Quarterly

The Middle Classes and Foreign Policy: Engaging in It But Not Changing It...Yet

As the middle classes have expanded in Latin America’s prospering democracies over the past 30 years, so too has their demand for better public policies from their governments. As their awareness of the effects of globalization on their own lives increases, civil society, including the media, business groups, academics and NGOs, are slowly becoming more vocal and organized.

This increasing competition for a voice in international affairs is the start of a long-awaited trend toward the democratization of foreign policy, offering both opportunities for greater transparency, accountability and pro-human rights policies, as well as risks of politicization and capture by special interests.

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