Abstract

This article explores how variations in party systems shape the intensity of insurgency against national authorities in nineteenth-century Latin America. I argue that, under certain conditions, two-party systems may polarize and lead to intense insurgency because they simplify the process of blame attribution, encourage the incumbent party to exclude its opponent from power positions, and motivate leaders to emphasize extreme ideological positions. Conversely, multiparty systems may encourage flexible electoral and congressional alliances among parties, resulting in lower insurgency. I test the argument in four nineteenth-century Latin American republics with different insurgency levels. While in Colombia and Uruguay two-party systems polarized and fueled intense insurgency across the century, Chile and Costa Rica developed flexible multiparty systems that prevented polarization and favored low insurgency.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8034
Print ISSN
0145-5532
Pages
pp. 219-245
Launched on MUSE
2016-05-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.