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Level of Development and Democracy Latin American Exceptionalism, 1945-1996

Mainwaring, S and Pérez-Liñán, A (2003) Level of Development and Democracy Latin American Exceptionalism, 1945-1996. Comparative Political Studies, 36 (9). 1031 - 1067. ISSN 0010-4140

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In this article, the relationship between modernization and democracy in Latin America from 1945 to 1996 is analyzed on the basis of quantitative data. Three arguments are made. First, it is shown that the level of development had a modest impact on the likelihood of democracy in Latin America from 1945 to 1996. Democracy in Latin America has survived in the face of a low level of development, and it has faltered despite moderately high per capita income. Second, it is shown that per capita income is a markedly worse predictor of democracy in Latin America than in other countries with the same income range or in the world as a whole. A distinctive, nonlinear, functional shape is identified for this relationship in Latin America. Third, some potential explanations for this Latin American exceptionalism are addressed. No existing structural explanation suffices, however; this issue merits further exploration in future research.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mainwaring, S
Pérez-Liñán, A
Date: 1 November 2003
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Comparative Political Studies
Volume: 36
Number: 9
Page Range: 1031 - 1067
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1177/0010414003257068
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0010-4140
Related URLs:
Article Type: Review
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 20:43
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:57


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