miércoles, 10 de agosto de 2011

Journal of Politics in Latin America, vol 3, nº 2, 2011

Excelente número, como siempre, esta vez con artículos sobre Perú y uno escrito por colegas peruanos, sobre Colombia.

Research Articles

Modeling Electoral Coordination: Voters, Parties and Legislative Lists in Uruguay
Ines Levin, Gabriel Katz

During each electoral period, the strategic interaction between voters and political elites determines the number of viable candidates in a district. In this paper, we implement a hierarchical seemingly unrelated regression model to explain electoral coordination at the district level in Uruguay as a function of district magnitude, previous electoral outcomes and electoral regime. Elections in this country are particularly useful to test for institutional effects on the coordination process due to the large variations in district magnitude, to the simultaneity of presidential and legislative races held under different rules, and to the reforms implemented during the period under consideration. We find that district magnitude and electoral history heuristics have substantial effects on the number of competing and voted-for parties and lists. Our modeling approach uncovers important interaction-effects between the demand and supply side of the political market that were often overlooked in previous research.

Democracy Against Parties? Party System Deinstitutionalization in Colombia
Eduardo Dargent, Paula Muñoz

This article argues that in Colombia, decentralization and electoral reforms adopted in the late 1980s and in the 1991 Constitution – designed to improve democratic quality – brought about a gradual deinstitutionalization of this country’s traditional party system as an unintended consequence. Building upon resource-based theories of party configuration, we contend that in developing countries, where resources are usually crucial for party aggregation, “democratizing” reforms designed to distribute power and resources in the political system can reduce local candidates’ incentives to join and remain loyal to political parties, particularly when those parties’ reputations are weak. In Colombia, these reforms (i) reduced the power of intermediate-level party leaders over the distribution of selective incentives, making these leaders less important for local politicians, and (ii) gave more political and financial autonomy to local candidates, reducing their need to join parties in order to advance their electoral goals. As a result, party cohesion and discipline become difficult to maintain, and the party system gradually deinstitutionalizes.

Institutional Trust and Congressional Autonomy in Latin America: Expectations, Performance, and Confidence in Peru’s Legislature
Barry S. Levitt

What role do Latin Americans expect legislatures to play vis-à-vis the executive? How do expectations shape political trust in a developing democracy like Peru? This article introduces new indicators gauging citizens’ current perceptions of, and idealized expectations for, the institutional independence of their elected assemblies. It uses 2007 data to test the hypothesis that the gap between the two indicators – the “legislative autonomy gap” – predicts trust in Congress. Most Peruvians claimed to prefer a more autonomous legislature. And citizens whose high expectations for institutional independence were adequately met were more likely to express confidence in Congress. However, having low expectations of congressional autonomy met also enhanced confidence in that institution. Trust in Congress proved to be pragmatic too, tied to perceptions of strong national economic performance, confidence in political parties, approval of congressional leadership, and approval of the same president from whom most Peruvians wished Congress would become more independent.

Ruling Against the Executive in Amparo Cases: Evidence from the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal
Lydia Brashear Tiede, Aldo Fernando Ponce

In this paper, we systematically analyze decisions made by the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal from 1996 to 2006 in amparo cases, which significantly impact individual rights. We ask the following question: in these types of cases, what conditions led the Tribunal to assert itself against the executive? Through an analysis of Tribunal decisions during the presidencies of Alberto Fujimori and Alejandro Toledo, we find that the Tribunal is more likely to rule against the executive, as the public’s confidence in the executive decreases and as the share of congressional seats of the president’s party declines. Further, the Tribunal is more willing to decide cases against the executive in areas that most pervade its docket, specifically in the areas of pensions and employment. These findings add to the comparative and American judicial politics literature by showing that high courts, even relatively weak ones, follow politics, but that case subject area and prevalence may temper this tendency.

Research Notes

Political Appointments and Coalition Management in Brazil, 2007-2010
Sérgio Praça, Andréa Freitas, Bruno Hoepers

Studies on coalition management in presidential systems usually focus on two types of goods used by the president and formateur party to hold together coalitions: exchange goods (such as individual budget amendments) and coalition goods (such as ministries). This research note analyzes, with an original dataset of party members and political appointees in Brazil, a different type of good: presidential political appointments. Our study shows that partisan political appointees vary greatly among Brazilian ministries and within them. We also found that there is a disconnect between how many seats a political party holds in Congress and the number of political appointment offices it controls. This has implications for the literature on bureaucracy and politics and the literature on coalition management.

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