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Party systems in Latin America after the Third Wave : a critical re-assessment

Parteiensysteme in Lateinamerika nach der Dritten Welle: eine kritische Würdigung
Sistemas de partidos en América Latina después de la tercera ola de democratización: un análisis crítico
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Carreras, Miguel

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Abstract This essay calls for a more nuanced analysis of the evolution of party systems in Latin America. First, I contend that the general impression that party systems are collapsing in Latin America and that processes of partisan and electoral dealignment are affecting most countries in the region is incorrect. Second, I argue that the changes in the party systems (e.g. strategic moderation) often facilitated the processes of democratic consolidation in many Latin American countries. Finally, I discuss the positive impact the recent transformations of Latin American party systems have on political representation in the region, by showing that formerly excluded groups – especially indigenous groups – have been integrated into the political system.

Este ensayo propone un análisis más matizado de la evolución de los sistemas de partidos en América latina. En primer lugar, argumento que la impresión generalizada de que los sistemas de partidos están colapsando en toda la región es incorrecta. En segundo lugar, propongo que algunos cambios en los sistemas de partidos (por ejemplo la moderación estratégica de los partidos del sistema) muchas veces favorece procesos de consolidación democrática en la región. Finalmente, discuto el impacto positivo que tienen las recientes transformaciones en los sistemas de partidos latinoamericanos para la representación política de grupos previamente excluidos en la región.
Keywords Latin America; party system; political system; political change; democratization; structural change; reorganization; transformation; political situation; indigenous peoples; integration; development; evolution; representation; Argentina; Costa Rica; Uruguay; Mexico; Venezuela; Andean Region; comparative political science; developing country; South America; Central America
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; General History
Method descriptive study; historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 135-153
Journal Journal of Politics in Latin America, 4 (2012) 1
ISSN 1868-4890
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works