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

By Alejandro Moreno | Go to book overview

an important role in Uruguay, and they overshadow any structural sources of cleavage such as rural-urban differences. Class has not played a role as a defining cleavage in Uruguay, since the "parties have been multi-class based since the beginning" (González 1995:141). However, age seems to be the basis for the issue-oriented cleavages in Uruguay today.


CONCLUSION

In this chapter I have shown that mass electorates in Latin America have been divided by general views about democracy and authoritarianism. General issue preferences and their connection to party preferences have defined significant political cleavages in Latin American politics. Empirical evidence from Brazil, Chile, and Mexico in the early 1990s shows that the democratic- authoritarian cleavage was in fact the most relevant political cleavage in these societies. Evidence from Chile and Uruguay in the mid-1990s suggests that the democratic-authoritarian cleavage continues to be important even after years of taking steps toward democratic consolidation. I did not find evidence of the existence of a democratic-authoritarian cleavage in Spain, after more than two decades since that country's transition to democracy, even though evidence of such a cleavage in Portugal has been noted elsewhere ( Moreno 1997). The democratic-authoritarian cleavage seems to have a diminishing importance in Argentina and Brazil as well. The influence of the democratic- authoritarian cleavage is also declining in Mexico, and the question is whether voters in the presidential elections in 2000 will show little concern about the issue or whether it is going to rise again. As in Argentina and Brazil, Mexicans are deeply divided by liberal-fundamentalist issues, the evolving source of cleavage after authoritarian and democratic concerns become secondary. Neither Venezuela nor Peru shows any evidence of how dissatisfaction with democracy may be translated into party support. However, I did find evidence of a strong structural cleavage in Venezuela--anchored in rural-urban and generational differences--and an issue-oriented cleavage in Peru based on liberal-fundamentalist issues.

The next chapter summarizes the information on political cleavages in advanced industrial society as well as in post-Communist societies and Latin America.


NOTES
1.
Regression analysis was conducted in order to assess the influence of income and education on the dimensions of conflict developed here: democratic-authoritarian and economic left-right. However, because the cleavage analysis done with discriminant analysis techniques is more central to the book's argument and because it not only supported the findings from the regression analysis but also made them more

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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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