This volume analyzes the function of informal institutions in Latin America and how they support or weaken democratic governance. The contributors examine how informal rules shape the performance of state and democratic institutions, offering fresh and timely insights into contemporary problems of governability, "unrule of law," and the absence of effective representation, participation, and accountability in Latin America.
This book is the first to comprehensively analyse the political and societal impacts of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in a region of the Global South. It evaluates under what conditions some Latin American governments and people have succeeded in taking up the opportunities related to the spread of ICTs, while others are confronted with the pessimist scenario of increased, digitally induced social and democratic cleavages. Specifically, the book examines if and how far the spread and use of new ICT affected central aims of democratic governance such as reducing socio-economic and gender inequality; strengthening citizen participation in political decision making; increasing the transparency of legislative processes; improving administrative processes; providing free access to government data and information; and expanding independent spaces of citizen communication. The country case and cross-country explore a range of bottom-up driven initiatives to reinforce democracy in the region. The book offers researchers and students an interdisciplinary approach to these issues by linking it to established theories of media and politics, political communication, political participation, and governance. Giving voice to researchers native to the region and with direct experience of the region, it uniquely brings together contributions from political scientists, researchers in communication studies and area studies specialists who have a solid record in political activism and international development co-operation.
Nearly thirty years have passed since Latin America began the arduous task of transitioning from military-led rule to democracy. In this time, more countries have moved toward the institutional bases of democracy than at any time in the region’s history. Nearly all countries have held free, competitive elections and most have had peaceful alternations in power between opposing political forces. Despite these advances, however, Latin American countries continue to face serious domestic and international challenges to the consolidation of stable democratic governance. The challenges range from weak political institutions, corruption, legacies of militarism, transnational crime and globalization among others. In Latin American Democracy contributors – both academics and practitioners, North Americans and Latin Americans – explore and assess the state of democratic consolidation in Latin America by focusing on the specific issues and challenges confronting democratic governance in the region.
"Explores the democratization and decentralization of governance in Mexico and finds that informal political networks continue to mediate citizens' relationships with their elected authorities. Analyzes the linkages between informal and formal power by comparing how they worked in three Mexican cities: Tijuana, Ciudad Nezahualcâoyotl, and Chilpancingo"--Provided by publisher.
To what extent do courts in Latin America protect individual rights and limit governments? This volume answers these fundamental questions by bringing together today's leading scholars of judicial politics. Drawing on examples from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Bolivia, the authors demonstrate that there is widespread variation in the performance of Latin America's constitutional courts. In accounting for this variation, the contributors push forward ongoing debates about what motivates judges; whether institutions, partisan politics and public support shape inter-branch relations; and the importance of judicial attitudes and legal culture. The authors deploy a range of methods, including qualitative case studies, paired country comparisons, statistical analysis and game theory.
What happens when vote buying becomes a means of social policy? Although one could cynically ask this question just as easily about the United States’s mature democracy, Diego Abente Brun and Larry Diamond ask this question about democracies in the developing world through an assessment of political clientelism, or what is commonly known as patronage. Studies of political clientelism, whether deployed through traditional vote-buying techniques or through the politicized use of social spending, were a priority in the 1970s, when democratization efforts around the world flourished. With the rise of the Washington Consensus and neoliberal economic policies during the late-1980s, clientelism studies were moved to the back of the scholarly agenda. Abente Brun and Diamond invited some of the best social scientists in the field to systematically explore how political clientelism works and evolves in the context of modern developing democracies, with particular reference to social policies aimed at reducing poverty. Clientelism, Social Policy, and the Quality of Democracy is balanced between a section devoted to understanding clientelism’s infamous effects and history in Latin America and a section that draws out implications for other regions, specifically Africa, Southeast Asia, and Eastern and Central Europe. These rich and instructive case studies glean larger comparative lessons that can help scholars understand how countries regulate the natural sociological reflex toward clientelistic ties in their quest to build that most elusive of all political structures—a fair, efficient, and accountable state based on impersonal criteria and the rule of law. In an era when democracy is increasingly snagged on the age-old practice of patronage, students and scholars of political science, comparative politics, democratization, and international development and economics will be interested in this assessment, which calls for the study of better, more efficient, and just governance. -- Kenneth F. Greene, The University of Texas at Austin
Almost all states are either federal or regionalized in some sense. It is difficult to find a state that is entirely unitary and the Routledge Handbook of Regionalism and Federalism necessarily takes in almost the entire world. Both federalism and regionalism have been subjects of a vast academic literature mainly from political science but sometimes also from history, economics, and geography. This cutting edge examination seeks to evaluate the two types of state organization from the perspective of political science producing a work that is analytical rather than simply descriptive. The Handbook presents some of the latest theoretical reflections on regionalism and federalism and then moves on to discuss cases of both regionalism and federalism in key countries chosen from the world’s macro-regions. Assembling this wide range of case studies allows the book to present a general picture of current trends in territorial governance. The final chapters then examine failed federations such as Czechoslovakia and examples of transnational regionalism - the EU, NAFTA and the African Union. Covering evolving forms of federalism and regionalism in all parts of the world and featuring a comprehensive range of case studies by leading international scholars this work will be an essential reference source for all students and scholars of international politics, comparative politics and international relations.
Over the past three decades, China has undergone a historic transformation. Once illegal, its private business sector now comprises 30 million businesses employing more than 200 million people and accounting for half of China's Gross Domestic Product. Yet despite the optimistic predictions of political observers and global business leaders, the triumph of capitalism has not led to substantial democratic reforms. In Capitalism without Democracy, Kellee S. Tsai focuses on the activities and aspirations of the private entrepreneurs who are driving China's economic growth. The famous images from 1989 of China's new capitalists supporting the students in Tiananmen Square are, Tsai finds, outdated and misleading. Chinese entrepreneurs are not agitating for democracy. Most are working eighteen-hour days to stay in business, while others are saving for their one child's education or planning to leave the country. Many are Communist Party members. "Remarkably," Tsai writes, "most entrepreneurs feel that the system generally works for them." Tsai regards the quotidian activities of Chinese entrepreneurs as subtler and possibly more effective than voting, lobbying, and protesting in the streets. Indeed, major reforms in China's formal institutions have enhanced the private sector's legitimacy and security in the absence of mobilization by business owners. In discreet collaboration with local officials, entrepreneurs have created a range of adaptive informal institutions, which in turn, have fundamentally altered China's political and regulatory landscape. Based on years of research, hundreds of field interviews, and a sweeping nationwide survey of private entrepreneurs funded by the National Science Foundation, Capitalism without Democracy explodes the conventional wisdom about the relationship between economic liberalism and political freedom.
The third wave of democratization produced a wealth of enduring social science. Beginning in the 1970s, it prompted scholars to develop important theories on authoritarian breakdowns and transitions to democracy. No one in the field was more influential than Guillermo O’Donnell (1936–2011), whose pathbreaking work shaped the scholarship of generations of social scientists. Reflections on Uneven Democracies honors the legacy of O’Donnell’s research by advancing debates related to his work on democracy. Drawing together a veritable Who’s Who of eminent scholars—including two of O’Donnell’s closest collaborators, Philippe Schmitter and Laurence Whitehead—the volume examines issues related to democratic breakdowns and stability, the nature and quality of new democracies, institutional strength, the rule of law, and delegative democracy. This reexamination of some of the most influential arguments about democracy of the past forty years leads to original approaches and insights for a new era of democracy studies. Students of democracy and institutional performance, both Latin Americanists and comparativists more generally, will find this essential reading. -- Kenneth M. Roberts, Cornell University, author of Deepening Democracy? The Modern Left and Social Movements in Chile and PeruEvelyne Huber, Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nearly four decades since the onset of the third wave, political parties remain weak in Latin America: parties have collapsed in much of the region, and most new party-building efforts have failed. Why do some new parties succeed while most fail? This book challenges the widespread belief that democracy and elections naturally give rise to strong parties and argues that successful party-building is more likely to occur under conditions of intense conflict than under routine democracy. Periods of revolution, civil war, populist mobilization, or authoritarian repression crystalize partisan attachments, create incentives for organization-building, and generate a 'higher cause' that attracts committed activists. Empirically rich chapters cover diverse cases from across Latin America, including both successful and failed cases.
This pioneering collection offers a comprehensive investigation into how to study public policy in Latin America. While this region exhibits many similarities with the North American and European countries that have traditionally served as sources for generating public policy knowledge, Latin American countries are also different in many fundamental ways. As such, existing policy concepts and frameworks may not always be the most effective tools of analysis for this unique region. To fill this gap, Comparative Public Policy in Latin America offers guidelines for refining current theories to suit Latin America’s contemporary institutional and socio-economic realities. The contributors accomplish this task by identifying the features of the region that shape public policy, including informal norms and practices, social inequality, and weak institutions. This book promises to become the definitive work on contemporary public policy in Latin America, essential for those who study the area as well as comparative public policy more broadly.
Based on a detailed study of 35 cases in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and post-communist Eurasia, this book explores the fate of competitive authoritarian regimes between 1990 and 2008. It finds that where social, economic, and technocratic ties to the West were extensive, as in Eastern Europe and the Americas, the external cost of abuse led incumbents to cede power rather than crack down, which led to democratization. Where ties to the West were limited, external democratizing pressure was weaker and countries rarely democratized. In these cases, regime outcomes hinged on the character of state and ruling party organizations. Where incumbents possessed developed and cohesive coercive party structures, they could thwart opposition challenges, and competitive authoritarian regimes survived; where incumbents lacked such organizational tools, regimes were unstable but rarely democratized.
Ausgezeichnet mit dem NDR Kultur Sachbuchpreis 2018 als bestes Sachbuch des Jahres Demokratien sterben mit einem Knall oder mit einem Wimmern. Der Knall, also das oft gewaltsame Ende einer Demokratie durch einen Putsch, einen Krieg oder eine Revolution, ist spektakulärer. Doch das Dahinsiechen einer Demokratie, das Sterben mit einem Wimmern, ist alltäglicher – und gefährlicher, weil die Bürger meist erst aufwachen, wenn es zu spät ist. Mit Blick auf die USA, Lateinamerika und Europa zeigen die beiden Politologen Steven Levitsky und Daniel Ziblatt, woran wir erkennen, dass demokratische Institutionen und Prozesse ausgehöhlt werden. Und sie sagen, an welchen Punkten wir eingreifen können, um diese Entwicklung zu stoppen. Denn mit gezielter Gegenwehr lässt sich die Demokratie retten – auch vom Sterbebett.
This volume gathers essays by leading scholars and principals of regional public-opinion surveys, known as "barometers," which are making possible the first systematic, worldwide study of how citizens think about democracy and weigh it against other forms of government. Originally published in the Journal of Democracy, the essays cover topics from Arab opinion about democracy to the nostalgia for authoritarianism found in East Asia. Other contributions shed light on the rise of populism in Latin America, and explain why postcommunist regimes in Europe have won broad public support. Additional chapters invite reflection on the role of ordinary people in democratization through the rise of "expressive" social values, and ask whether political or economic factors more decisively influence how people evaluate democracy in their own countries. No serious student of democracy can afford to be without this book. It offers an original and comprehensive view of what citizens around the world think as democracy's global "third wave" prepares to enter its fourth and perhaps most challenging decade. Contributors: Michael Bratton, Yu-tzung Chang, Yun-han Chu, Russell J. Dalton, Peter R. deSouza, Ronald Inglehart, Amaney Jamal, Willy Jou, Marta Lagos, Suhas Palshikar, Chong-Min Park, Richard Rose, Mitchell A. Seligson, Sandeep Shastri, Doh C. Shin, Mark Tessler, Christian Welzel, Yogendra Yadav

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