Latin American Political Culture: Public Opinion and Democracy

Latin American Political Culture: Public Opinion and Democracy

by John A. Booth, Patricia Richard

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Latin American Political Culture: Public Opinion and Democracy presents a genuinely pan-Latin American examination of the region’s contemporary political culture. This is the only book to extensively investigate the attitudes and behaviors of Latin Americans based on the Latin American Public Opinion Project’s (LAPOP) AmericasBarometer surveys. Through its analysis of data on eighteen countries, the book systematically and comparatively evaluates norms, attitudes, and opinions concerning democracy and its consolidation. Beginning with an introduction of political culture and its scholarship, it examines democratic and authoritarian norms, explores how citizens relate to the political world, and considers implications for democratic stability. It then examines key behavioral outcomes in politics, such as in attitudes toward gays and fear of crime, and how political culture changes over time. Case studies highlight how these factors come together in particular cases. The findings reveal a complex Latin America with distinct political cultures. This book joins rigorous analysis with clear graphic presentation and extensive examples.  Readers learn about public opinion research, engage with further questions for analysis, and have access to data, an expansive bibliography, and links to appendices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483322476
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 10/30/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 312
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

John A. Booth is Regents Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of North Texas. His recent research examines political culture, opinion, and participation regarding democratization, concentrating especially on Central America. He is coauthor of Understanding Central America: Global Forces, Rebellion, and Change (Westview 2015), and The Legitimacy Puzzle: Political Support and Democracy in Eight Nations (Cambridge 2009). 

Patricia Bayer Richard is Trustee Professor Emerita of Political Science at Ohio University. Her research spans democracy, public opinion, political culture, elections, and reproductive rights. Her work has appeared in journals and books such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Social Science Quarterly, Electoral Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding in Post-War Societies, Repression, Resistance, and Democratic Transition in Central America, Elections and Democracy in Central America Revisited, and Abortion Politics in American States.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Latin American Political Culture and Democracy: Introduction
What Is Political Culture? A Common Language for Politics
Why Political Culture Matters: An Argument Over Its Function
Views of Latin American Political Culture: Traditional Theories and an Emerging New Picture
The Goal of This Book
Further Analysis Exercises
Part II: A Survey of Latin American Political Cultural Norms
Chapter 2: Do Latin Americans Support Democracy?
What Model of Democracy?
Historical-Cultural Background and Latin American Political Culture
Sources of Democratic Attitudes
Case Study: Uruguay Is the Most Culturally Democratic Latin American Country
Further Analysis Exercises
Chapter 3: Do Latin Americans Reject Authoritarian Norms?
Authoritarian Norms in a Democratic Context?
Historical-Cultural Background
Surveying Latin Americans’ Commitment to Authoritarian and Antidemocratic Political Norms
Authoritarianism and Related Norms Among Latin Americans
Sources of Authoritarian and Antidemocratic Norms
Case Study: Political Culture and Honduras’ “Pajama Coup”
Discussion and Conclusions
Further Analysis Exercises
Chapter 4: Views of Government and the Political System
Historical-Cultural Background
Views About Politics And Government
Political Efficacy and Trust
Party Identification And Ideology
Expectations of the Political System: Government and Welfare and Divisions on the Rule of Law
Case Study: Caudillismo, Confrontation, and Venezuela′s Crisis in the Bolivarian Revolution
Further Analysis Exercises
Chapter 5: Demand for Democracy and Evaluation of Government’s Institutions
The Performance of Latin American Governments
Citizens’ Evaluations of Their Governments
Explaining Satisfaction With Democracy
Case Study: Vigilante Justice in Mexico- Failed Public Security and Autodefensas
Further Analysis Exercises
Part III: Critical Issues of Latin American Political Culture
Chapter 6: Civic and Political Participation
Historical-Cultural Background
How Citizens Participate
Civil Society Activism
Political Participation
Case Study: Brazil- Sao Paulo Youth Protest for Access to Fancy Malls
Further Analysis Exercises
Chapter 7: Innate Characteristics and Political Culture: Gender, Age, Race, and Ethnicity
Race and Ethnicity
Skin Color
Case Study: Cultural Integration of Indigenous Guatemalans and Bolivians
Further Analysis Exercises
Chapter 8: Acquired Cleavages and Political Culture
Religious Identity
Economic Status
Case Study: Tolerance of Gays Reveals Powerful Religious and Contextual Effects
Further Analysis Exercises
Chapter 9: Dynamic Factors and Political Culture
The Age of Democracy and Political Culture
Economic Crisis and Political Attitudes
Social and Political Capital and Democratization
Case Study: Women in Elite Politics
Further Analysis Questions
Part IV: Conclusions About Latin American Political Culture
Chapter 10: Conclusions: Consolidating Democratic Culture
Summing Up: What We Have Learned
Latin America and Its Northern Neighbors
Practical Implications of Political Culture
Further Analysis Exercises

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