About the event
In recent years, Peru’s political standing has been viewed positively both in the international community and by that country’s elites. This narrative was informed mainly by Peru’s booming economy that, in the early 1990s, was seen by many as the “sick man” of South America. Several recent developments, however, seem to challenge such a narrative. The impeachment of former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski earlier this year has revealed both a corrupt political class and flawed representative system. The once booming economy is much weaker today, and poverty levels grew in 2017 for the first time in two decades. These recent developments lead us to ask whether we may be seeing the end of a success story? Alternatively, might the new Martin Vizcarra administration be able to put the country on the right track? In a conversation with Fabiola Cordova, political scientist Alberto Vergara assessed the state of Peru’s democracy, as well as the challenges faced by the new Martin Vizcarra administration.
- Alberto Vergara, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow
With comments from:
- Fabiola Cordova, Associate Director of Latin America & Caribbean Program, National Endowment for Democracy
About the Speakers
Dr. Alberto Vergara is a professor at the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the Universidad del Pacífico (Lima, Peru). He received his PhD from University of Montreal and he was a Trudeau Foundation doctoral fellow. He was also a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard University supported by a Banting Fellowship. Dr. Vergara has been a lecturer in Latin American politics at Harvard University and Sciences Po, Paris. His research has appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Latin American Research Review, and the Journal of Politics in Latin America, among others. His most recent book is La Danza Hostil: Poderes subnacionales y Estado central en Bolivia y Perú (1952-2012) (The hostile dance: subnational powers and central state in Bolivia and Peru). He is the author of numerous non-academic essays and occasional pieces, many gathered in the book Ciudadanos sin República (Citizens without a Republic). Dr. Vergara’s work focuses primarily on representation, accountability, and subnational politics. During his fellowship, he is focusing on the Peruvian party “Fujimorismo” as a way to rethink the relation between democracy and political parties.
Fabiola Cordova is associate director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy. Since joining the Endowment in 2005, she has managed programs across the region, and now oversees NED’s grant portfolio in the Andes and cross-country initiatives. In her current position, she works with civil society organizations to strengthen their institutional capacity, and support their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and values. Previously, Ms. Cordova worked at the National Democratic Institute, where she managed projects focusing on election observation and political party strengthening. She holds a BA in International Relations from Clark University, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
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