Argentina Confronts Politics: Political Culture and Public Opinion in the Argentine Transition to Democracy

Argentina Confronts Politics: Political Culture and Public Opinion in the Argentine Transition to Democracy

Argentina Confronts Politics: Political Culture and Public Opinion in the Argentine Transition to Democracy

Argentina Confronts Politics: Political Culture and Public Opinion in the Argentine Transition to Democracy

Synopsis

Is Argentine political culture favourably inclined toward democracy? What have been the principal changes in this culture during the transition period? What is the dynamic of discontent in Argentina? How are democratic, elitist, authoritarian, and populist orientations brought together in the population? Drawing on the results of data from multiple opinion polls taken throughout the transition period, Edgardo Catterberg addresses these and related questions and formulates a series of proposals concerning the evolution of political beliefs in Argentina."

Excerpt

This book is a study of Argentina's transition to democracy, which began in 1982, from the perspective of the nation's political culture. After Argentine society's long compulsory absence from politics, citizens assumed a fundamental role in the transition, in terms of party participation, mobilization, electoral behavior, expectations, support, and demands. This work is an attempt to analyze systematically Argentines' attitudes and orientations in the development of a democratic regime.

Data was collected through the old and unsurpassed method of the social sciences: opinion polls. the special feature of this study is that it brings together a series of surveys implemented during the transition that, although they do not have precisely the same design, have a common group of questions.

Several chapters are revised versions of papers published previously as "Individualismo y estatismo: análisis de la cultura polftica argentina," in Ideas en Ciencias Sociales, 2, April-June 1984; "Las elecciones del 30 de octubre de 1983. El surgimiento de una convergencia electoral," in Desarrollo Económico, 68, 1985; "La Transici6n y el sistema de partidos políticos en la Argentina," in Revista Plural, 10-11, 1988; "ιIzquierda y derecha en la opini6n pública argentina?" (withMarfa Braun), Crítica y Utopía, 18, 1989; "Las elecciones presidenciales argentinas del 14 de mayo de 1989: la ruta a la normalidad," (withMaría Braun), Desarrollo Económico, 115, 1989; and "Attitudes Towards Democracy in Argentina During the Transition Period," International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Vol. 2, 2, 1990.

The book reflects my professional work since 1980 with several private and public organizations that conduct opinion polls. My involvement in this activity would never have begun without the enthusiasm of Carmen Zayuelas, vice-president of ipsa Institute, who accepted the risky task of carrying out opinion surveys at an extremely unfavorable moment. To her I owe much appreciation.

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