First Volume of new PRIF Study-Series Published by Nomos

Jonas Wolff scrutinizes deficient democracies in Latin America which manage to survive despite turbulences

Since 2008, PRIF’s study-series has been published with Nomos Publishing House (Baden-Baden). PRIF’s series at Campus Publishing House (Frankfurt) was closed. The new study-series at Nomos starts again with volume 1 containing Jonas Wolff’s PhD thesis (summa sum laude).


Latin Americas’ democracies suffer massively from corruption, patronage and enormous social inequality. And still they are surprisingly persistent. Jonas Wolff deals with this phenomenon in his latest publication Turbulente Stabilität. Die Demokratie in Südamerika diesseits ferner Ideale(Turbulent stability. Democracy in South America still on this side of its distant ideals). Referring to the concept of democratic social peace Wolff examines the cases of Argentina and Ecuador to identify factors that keep these democracies alive, even though they contradict the common theories about stability and functional prerequisites for democracies. He shows that it is informal but established mechanisms of conflict management which supplement formal democratic forms of stabilization. They take over functions that, in a consolidated democracy, state institutions would fulfil. Especially these patronage structures, as well as extra-institutional, corporatistic negotiation systems stabilize the deficient democracies and secure their survival, although they are still far from consolidation.