Normal Politics in New Democracies. Portfolio Reallocation and Resolution of Conflicts in Latin America (1978-2008)

Normal Politics in New Democracies. Portfolio Reallocation and Resolution of Conflicts in Latin America (1978-2008)

This research project involves the study of portfolio allocation in new democracies and their impact on the resolution of socio-political crises in Latin American presidential regimes. The project implies the elaboration of an analytical framework; the construction/improvement of four databases; the elaboration  of a book, a journal special issue, and various articles; the development/consolidation of an international research team; and the creation of a webpage for data disclosure.

 

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
No
Keywords: 

Quality of democracy, New democracies, Cabinets, Socio-political conflicts

This research project involves the study of portfolio allocation in new democracies and their impact on the resolution of socio-political crises in Latin American presidential regimes. The project implies the elaboration of an analytical framework; the construction/improvement of four databases; the elaboration  of a book, a journal special issue, and various articles; the development/consolidation of an international research team; and the creation of a webpage for data disclosure.

 

Objectivos: 
The aim of this project is to contribute to two fields, namely crises within democracy and cabinets in new democracies, in three ways. Firstly, the theoretical contribution is to link cabinet formation and stability to crises within democracy, by studying the role of portfolio allocation in the resolution of such crises. Secondly, the empirical contribution is to construct databases for comparative cross-national analysis. Finally, the methodological contribution is to combine sophisticated quantitative and qualitative methods.
State of the art: 
Very little is known about Latin American cabinets. A first reason for the lack of research on this topic is related to historical circumstances. Until recently the major challenges of Latin American political systems were defined at the regime level as the tension between democracy and non-democracy. Scholarly attention hence focused mainly on institutional arrangements as a whole and not on particular institutions such as cabinets. A second reason is related to the institutional set-up of Latin American political systems, specifically Presidentialism. Given the formal autonomy of the President and his dominance within the Executive, the other cabinet members have not raised a great deal of scholarly interest. Recently however, the third wave democracies have triggered a completely different research agenda. <p>On the one hand, Latin American democracies are showing a thus far unknown capacity to survive, shifting attention to the political dynamics within these political systems. Clear examples are the increasingly frequent forced resignations of Presidents that seem to function as a way to solve political crises democratically. This new phenomenon has lead to a reformulation of the literature on Presidentialism. Within the Linzean tradition, some authors sustain that the persistence of distortions and limitations in the functioning of political institutions, even when not leading to the breakdown of democracy, are evidence of the inherent deficiency of Presidentialism (Linz et al. 1994; Valenzuela 2004). On the contrary, other authors stress that the survival of democracy, even with the persistence of distortions and limitations in the functioning of political institutions, demonstrates the potential resources of Presidentialism (Bosoer 2003; Carey 2002; Mustapic 2004; P&eacute;rez Li&ntilde;&aacute;n 2003). This debate has triggered a new field of studies of institutional political crises within democracy in Latin America (Morlino 1998). Still, this new field of studies remains exclusively focused on the most severe type of those crises (i.e. presidential crises), without considering ordinary conflicts or cabinet reshuffles.</p><p>On the other hand, another interesting branch of research has developed recently that concentrates on the study of Latin American cabinets (Amorim Neto 2006; Cheibub 2004; Cheibub, Przeworski, and Saiegh 2004; Dehesa 1998; Mart&iacute;nez Gallardo 2005). These studies borrow and adapt conceptual instruments from the literature on parliamentary coalition governments, such as the way of counting governments and the type of independent variables used to explain the composition and duration of governments. Though constituting an important contribution, this literature tends to focus on the partisan composition of the cabinet at the moment of formation, without paying much attention to cabinet instability and its relationship with crises and conflicts after cabinet formation.&nbsp; </p><p>The aim of this project is to contribute to both fields -crises and conflicts within democracy, and presidential cabinets- in three ways. Firstly, the theoretical contribution is to link cabinet formation and stability to crises within democracy, by studying the role of portfolio allocation in the resolution of such crises. Secondly, the empirical contribution is to generate and codify empirical data for comparative cross-national analysis. Finally, the methodological contribution is to combine sophisticated quantitative and qualitative methods.</p>
Parceria: 
Unintegrated
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
15/02/2009
End Date: 
15/02/2012
Duração: 
36 meses
Closed