Democratic Latin America

Democratic Latin America

by Craig L. Arceneaux

Hardcover(3rd ed.)

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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on October 27, 2020


This much-expanded and updated second edition of Democratic Latin America takes an institutional approach to Latin American politics to discuss contemporary politics and to highlight how past politics have shaped current institutional designs. It draws explicit connections between certain political features- such as fragmentation, efficiency, accountability, instability, consensus, or responsiveness- and the institutional design of a country. Students thus learn not only that a country is unstable or has high rates of participation or low levels of corruption, but they also learn why. And more importantly, they also learn how politics can be shaped by different institutional arrangements.


  • Each chapter focuses on a different institution, such as the executive, political parties, electoral systems, the armed forces, or federalism and compares how they are constructed differently across countries.
  • Placing a premium on accessibility, each chapter opens with a story and ends with a detailed country case study, making use of contemporary examples to feed student interest in current events.
  • Newly updated comparison-based tables and box features (electoral results, percentage of women legislators, and surveys of partisan identification) are included to stimulate analysis.
  • New topics of research have been added to ensure the recognition of the latest changes in the region, including: corruption scandals; the turn of the "pink tide"; protest and social movements; LGBT rights; citizen security and organized crime; new forms of legislative accountability; and the use of social media as a political resource in Latin America.

Democratic Latin America continues to offer an original way of teaching and learning about Latin American politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780367353520
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/27/2020
Edition description: 3rd ed.
Pages: 520
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Craig L. Arceneaux is Professor of Political Science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He served as Chair of the Political Science Department from 2009-2013.

Table of Contents


1. An Institutional Approach to Democracy and Democratization in Latin America

2. State and Nation in Colonial Latin America

3. Constitutions: From States and Nations to Regimes, and Back Again

4. The Executive Branch: Latin American Style

5. The Legislative Branch: The Centerpiece of Democracy Under Fire

6. The Judiciary in Latin America: Separate but Unequal

7. Electoral Systems: The Core of Democratic Politics

8. From Civil Society to Political Parties: Putting Democracy into Practice

9. Federalism and Unitarism: Learning to Share

10. The Armed Forces: Bridging the Civil-Military Divide

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