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Democratic survival in Latin America (1945-2005)

Pérez-Liñán, A and Mainwaring, S (2014) Democratic survival in Latin America (1945-2005). America Latina Hoy, 68. 139 - 168. ISSN 1130-2887

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Why do democracies survive or break down? In this paper, it returns to this classic question with an empirical focus on Latin America from 1945 to 2005. The argument deviates from the quantitative literature and a good part of the qualitative literature on democratic survival and breakdown. It is argued that structural variables such as the level of development and inequalities have not shaped prospects for democratic survival in Latin America. Nor, contrary to findings in some of the literature, has economic performance affected the survival of competitive regimes. Instead, it is focused on the regional political environment and on actors’ normative preferences about democracy and dictatorship and their policy radicalism or moderation. It is argued that 1) a higher level of development did not increase the likelihood of democratic survival in Latin America over this long time; 2) if actors have a normative preference for democracy, it is more likely to survive; and 3) policy moderation facilitates democratic survival.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pérez-Liñán, A
Mainwaring, S
Date: 1 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: America Latina Hoy
Volume: 68
Page Range: 139 - 168
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.14201/alh201468139168
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1130-2887
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 21:53
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 12:55


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