Political Cleavages: Issues, Parties, and the Consolidation of Democracy

By Alejandro Moreno | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
Political Cleavages in
Latin America

The global process of democratization during the 1980s and 1990s has brought political competition to societies previously characterized by one- party systems or by military regimes. With this new political competition comes the need to understand it. As it is argued throughout this book, party competition is shaped by issue-oriented cleavage dimensions. Societies divide not only on the basis of structural differences such as ethnicity and class but also on the basis of their views and preferences on political, economic, cultural, and social issues. In some cases, structural and issue divisions are closely linked. In other cases, issue orientations crosscut structural divisions. Divisions on issue orientations are likely to form important political cleavages if those divisions are connected with party preferences. As has been shown in the previous chapters, issue orientations are an important source of political cleavage in advanced industrial society and in post-Communist new democracies. This chapter focuses on political cleavages in Latin America and follows the idea that party competition in the new Latin American democracies has been strongly influenced by dividing views on democracy, views that define a strong democratic-authoritarian cleavage.

Based on World Values Survey data, I have identified several groups of societies--including newly democratic or transitional societies--characterized by their issue configurations and the political cleavages based on those configurations. The issue configurations found in the analysis reflect the classic socioeconomic left-right cleavage, on the one hand, and a democratic-authoritarian cleavage, on the other. More specifically, the cleavage of authoritarian versus democratic government refers to the issues of democratization, political reform, and authority that are particularly salient in transitional and newly democratic contexts. Empirical evidence from the early 1990s supports the idea that in many new democracies the main political cleavage is defined

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Political Cleavages: Issues, Parties, and the Consolidation of Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Acronyms xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Acknowledgments 6
  • Notes 7
  • Chapter One - Democracy, Democratization, and Political Cleavages 9
  • Conclusion 26
  • Notes 26
  • Chapter Two - Political Cleavages in Advanced Industrial Societies 28
  • Conclusion 72
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter Three - Political Cleavages in Post-Communist Societies 76
  • Conclusion 104
  • Notes 104
  • Chapter Four - Political Cleavages in Latin America 106
  • Conclusion 148
  • Notes 148
  • Chapter Five - Conclusion: A Cross-National Comparison of Cleavages 150
  • Conclusion 164
  • Appendix A: Surveys and Question Wording 167
  • Appendix B: A Brief Description of Discriminant Analysis 182
  • References 186
  • Index 193
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