Youth and Democracy in Latin America

With 2022 heralding a year of important elections in Latin America, the attitudes and behaviours of young people across the region are a critical factor in deciding whether countries will choose to renounce authoritarianism or move towards more democratic forms of government. 

Luminate partnered with researchers Esther Solano, a Professor of International Relations at the Federal University of São Paulo and Camila Rocha, a political scientist and researcher at the Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning to unpack the perceptions of young Latin Americans.

The study, Youth and Democracy in Latin America, is based on a series of qualitative focus groups with young women and men aged 16-24 years old of all political leanings in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.

The report shows a much more nuanced and complex picture than is often presented in quantitative surveys. Young people are strongly in favour of exercising their vote and yet they do not feel that voting is a powerful democratic tool to achieve change. 

Another key finding is that causes such as the environment, feminism, inequality, and LGBTQ+ issues are the primary ways youth in Latin America are politically engaged. 

The report is available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.