Over time, the Organization of American States has become institutionally and normatively more capable of defending democracy in the region. Yet the OAS is as selective in its interventions on behalf of democratic promotion today as it was in the early 1990s. To explain this puzzle, this study disaggregates democratic dilemmas according to issue areas, threats, and contingencies. It finds that the OAS responds more forcefully when the problem presents a clear and present danger both to the offending state and to other members. As threats become weaker or more ambiguous, the OAS tends to act more timidly, unless domestic constituencies cry out for its assistance or the United States puts its full weight behind the effort. Case study capsules provide empirical evidence to illustrate these arguments.
This article explores the conditions that allow judicial councils and impeachment juries to promote judicial autonomy. In theory, these bodies intervene in the appointment and removal of judges in order to reduce executive control over court composition, thereby promoting judicial independence. Using the case of Argentina at the federal and the subnational levels, this study demonstrates that competitive politics enhances the capacity of judicial councils and impeachment juries to bolster judicial autonomy. Interparty competition provides incentives for the executive to develop a meaningful system of checks and balances, which includes an independent judiciary that can check executive power. In contrast, monolithic party control—defined as a prolonged period of unified government under a highly disciplined party—permits the executive to maintain a monopoly on power and thereby control judicial appointments and removals.
Venezuela -- Politics and government -- 1974-1999.
Peru -- Politics and government -- 1980-
Political parties -- Venezuela.
Political parties -- Peru.
What conditions facilitate party system collapse, the farthest-reaching variant of party system change? How does collapse occur? Numerous studies of lesser types of party system change exist, but studies of party system collapse are rare. This study draws on the existing literature and the cases of party system collapse in Venezuela (1988–2000) and Peru (1985–95) to advance some answers to the important questions about the phenomenon. The study posits three conditions that predispose political party systems to collapse: the presence of an acute or sustained crisis that questions the ability of system-sustaining political parties to govern; extremely low or extremely high levels of party system institutionalization; and the emergence of an anti-establishment figure with the desire and personal authority to generate a viable alternative to the established party system. The study also posits a three-election sequential process during which collapse takes place.
Twenty years after governments across Latin America began implementing neoliberal reforms in earnest, concern is growing about their impact on the quality of democracy in the region. This article examines this issue in the case of Mexico by exploring how patterns of political participation, especially among the rural and urban poor, have changed since the implementation of free market reforms. It asks whether the institutional innovations associated with free market reforms make it easier or more difficult for the poor to participate in Mexico's political process. The answer is not encouraging. Despite democratic openings, the new linkages between the state and citizens established as a result of the transition to a free market development model stifle the voice of the poor not through the threat of force or coercion, but by creating obstacles and disincentives for political mobilization that affect the poor more severely than other groups.
United States -- Foreign economic relations -- Mexico -- Public opinion.
Mexico -- Foreign economic relations -- United States -- Public opinion.
Public opinion -- Mexico.
A 1995 survey shows that Mexican citizens depend on their cognitive and affective orientations toward the United States in forming opinions about economic agreements between the two countries. The degree to which respondents utilized general feelings toward the United States rather than images of the United States varies by educational level and across the two agreements that were examined, NAFTA and the Clinton economic stabilization package of 1995. Whether respondents utilized an image of U.S. economic imperialism or of racial discrimination against people of Mexican origin in forming their opinions also depends on the level of education attained and on the policy domain of the agreement. The cognitive processes respondents utilized to form opinions about these economic agreements also differ across educational levels and policy domains. The findings have important implications for the capacity of Mexican elites to mobilize support for agreements with the United States and more generally for U.S.-Mexican relations.
High technology industries -- Government policy -- Chile.
Once prey to government patrimonial practices, the Corporación de Fomento de la Producción (CORFO), Chile's economic development agency, overcame this problem in the early 1990s. In 2000 CORFO established a High Technology Investment Promotion Program to promote foreign direct investment in high technology and other nontraditional sectors. This article applies concepts of political survival and cooperation to explain how CORFO moved from patrimonialism to technocratic independence. Then it demonstrates that governments possessing technocratic independence but lacking other characteristics typically associated with successful investment promotion efforts can develop transnational strategic networks of individuals, business associations, and universities to facilitate their learning process in order to devise more effective strategies to promote nontraditional FDI.