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This article explores the problem of conceptualizing and measuring the quality of democracy in Latin America. The first part discusses the use of the concept and the need for an operational measure. It explores three dimensions of the quality of democracy: civil rights, participation and effective competition. The second part develops an indicator of effective competition, one of the key dimensions of the concept. The third part analyses the empirical relationship between all three dimensionsdoi:10.1080/714000256 fatcat:iajxfhfdk5czlervzluwnmnpva