Work-in-Progress: The Partisan Origins of Democracy in Latin America



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A Kellogg Work-in-Progress Seminar with Visiting Fellow Raúl Madrid.

The existing literature on democratic emergence has focused on economic factors, ascribing it to rising development or the emergence of the working classes or the bourgeoisie. By contrast, Madrid’s paper advances a partisan explanation for the initial emergence of democracy in Latin America. It argues that the central actor in the democratization process were elite opposition parties. Democracy was most likely to emerge in Latin America where: 1) there were strong opposition parties; 2) where those opposition parties abandoned the armed struggle as a result of growing strength of the armed forces; and 3) where there was a split in the ruling party. Madrid explores these arguments using quantitative as well as qualitative methods and a combination of archival and secondary sources.

Work-in-Progress Seminars are designed to generate in-depth discussion of new scholarly work. For the pre-circulated paper and to attend, register with

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