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  • Author: Lucas Gonzalez
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What is the effect of political competition on subnational social spending? Using descriptive statistics and regression models for original budget panel data for the 24 Argentine provinces between 1993 and 2009, the study finds that social spending increases the more electorally secure governors are and the longer they have been in office. It also finds that other arguments in the literature are relevant in explaining variations on types of spending, such as partisan fragmentation in the districts. The article discusses these findings for the Argentine provinces and explores their implications with regard to the debates on the effects of electoral competition and the design of social policies, especially in developing countries and federal democracies.
  • Topic: Developing World, Elections, Democracy, Local, Social Spending
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Valentin Figueroa
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In this paper, I use a slightly modified version of the Becker– Stigler model of corrupt behavior to explain bureaucratic political in- volvement. Since bureaucrats prefer higher rewards and not to support losing candidates, we expect them to become politically involved near elections – when rewards are expected to be higher, and information more abundant. Taking advantage of a natural experiment, I employ differences-in-means and differences-in-differences techniques to esti- mate the effect of electoral proximity on the political involvement of justices of the peace in the city of Buenos Aires in 1904. I find a large, positive, and highly local effect of electoral proximity on their political involvement, with no appreciable impact in the months before or after elections.
  • Topic: Corruption, Elections, Justice, Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Joel W. Johnson
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that perceptions of corruption in Latin America exhibit predictable fluctuations in the wake of presidential turn- over. Specifically, presidential elections that result in the partisan transfer of power are normally followed by a surge-and-decline pattern in per- ceived corruption control, with initial improvements that fade with time. The causes are multiple and stem from the removal of corrupt admin- istrations, public enthusiasm about administrative change, and the rela- tive lack of high-level corruption scandals in the early phases of new governments. A statistical analysis of two widely used corruption percep- tions indices demonstrates the pattern for eighteen Latin American de- mocracies from 1996 to 2010. Both indices exhibit a temporary surge (of about two years) after turnover elections, while no such change follows reelections of incumbent presidents or parties. The theory and results are relevant for understanding public opinion in Latin America and for the analysis of corruption perceptions indices.
  • Topic: Corruption, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: . Arnaldo Mauerberg Jr, Carlos Pereira, Ciro Biderman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: n recent years, four approaches about executive–legislative relations in Brazil have emerged: i) the perspective that points out limita- tions and constraints of multiparty presidential systems; ii) the building of government coalitions; iii) coalition management; and iv) the role played by institutions including the prerogatives of party leadership in- side the House. In this paper, we review the literature on these ap- proaches, offering a guide for studies about the Brazilian multiparty pres- idential system.
  • Topic: Governance, Elections, Democracy, State Building
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Ryan Salzman
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: News media are an important factor in any democratic society. Research focused on developed democracies has paved the way for anal- ysis in the context of less well-developed democracies. The project en- deavors to continue that investigation into whether and how news media consumption affects democratic behavior among individuals in a region comprised of developing democracies: Latin America. Employing rich survey data available from the 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project, traditional analyses are used to test one of the most basic ques- tions for political communication researchers: Does news media con- sumption motivate or depress political participation? The results indicate that, on average, news media mobilize political participation, albeit to different degrees per medium and participation type. This seems to hap- pen because those media socialize Latin Americans to value political participation.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Elections, Democracy, Media, Participation
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Uwe Serdult, Yanina Welp
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Focusing on the relatively longstanding experience of neigh- borhood councils in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo (1993–), this research note seeks to analyze how sustainable democratic innovation is and to explain subsequent results. Sustainability is assessed through the evolution of citizens’ participation in elections and through the number of candidates who apply to become neighborhood councilors. For both indicators, a consistent decline in the levels of participation over time is found. This is deemed to be a consequence of an institutional design that seriously limits the performance of neighborhood councils in terms of their influence in the decision-making process and their acquisition of legitimacy and political capital.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Citizenship, Legitimacy, Local
  • Political Geography: South America, Uruguay, Latin America