Latin American democracies : Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela by John A. Peeler

By John A. Peeler

Utilizing the circumstances of Columbia, Costa Rica, and Venezuela, Peeler compares the evolution and upkeep of liberal democratic regimes within the Latin American context. those regimes are proven to be items of the conventional Latin American political strategies, below specific stipulations that experience approved lodging among rival political and financial elites. the writer argues that those liberal democracies are essentially just like these in different elements of the world.

Originally released in 1985.

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In the cases in which sustained democratic regimes were not established, neither elite accommodation nor commitment to a constitution protected the democratic regime from partisan conflict (for a fuller elaboration of this argument, see Peeler, 1983). In Argentina a tightly restricted civil oligarchy dominated by the great landowners was challenged by the urban, middle-class-based Radical Civic Union after the 18905. The most important demand of the Radicals was precisely the democratization of the political system through expansion of the suffrage and elimination of corruption.

For example, Ralf Dahrendorf's study Society and Democracy in Germany is broadly consistent with Moore's argument, but much more detailed in its discussion of elements of the social structure and political culture of Germany which he maintains have obstructed the development of democracy there. Reinhard Bendix's Kings or People focuses entirely on democratization of European polities. , The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes, all emphasize, in contrast to Moore and Dahrendorf, the autonomy of political actors, particularly in crisis situations.

Unorganized peasants, Indians, or urban marginals), nor is the principle of one man/one vote necessarily applicable. (Pp. ) A highly provocative examination of democracy in Latin America was published in 1979 by Goran Therborn. He uses a particularly narrow and formal definition of democracy which has the puzzling effect of excluding both Chile and Costa Rica as full democracies, while including Colombia in that category. But while Therborn's treatment of individual countries is superficial and often questionable, his overall perspective on the problem is amply deserving of examination.

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