acemoglu70_JAVIER TORRESAFP via Getty Images_chileconstitution Javier Torres/AFP via Getty Images

What It Takes to Build Democratic Institutions

Chile's failure to draft a new constitution that enjoys widespread support from voters is the predictable result of allowing partisans and ideologues to lead the process. Democratic institutions are built by delivering what ordinary voters expect and demand from government, as the history of Nordic social democracy shows.

BOSTON – There are plenty of good models around to help both developing and industrialized countries build better democratic institutions. But with its abortive attempts to draft a new constitution, Chile is offering a lesson in what to avoid.