By Roderic Ai Camp
When americans and Latin americans discuss democracy, are they imagining an identical factor? For years, researchers have suspected that primary alterations exist among how North americans view and appraise the concept that of democracy and the way Latin americans view an analogous time period. those ameliorations without delay impact the evolution of democratization and political liberalization within the international locations of the zone, and knowing them has great effects for U.S.–Latin American family members. yet formerly there was no tough info to make “the definition of democracy” noticeable, and hence capable of be interpreted. This e-book, the fruits of a huge survey undertaking, is the 1st try and do so.
Camp headed a examine group that during 1998 surveyed 1,200 voters in 3 countries—three special circumstances of democratic transition. Costa Rica is said to be the main democratic in Latin the United States; Mexico is a rustic in transition towards democracy; Chile is returning to democracy after a long time of critical repression. The survey was
carefully designed to teach how the typical citizen in each one of those international locations knows democracy.
In Citizen perspectives of Democracy in Latin America, ten major students of the area study and interpret the consequences. Written with pupil and undergraduate in brain, the essays discover the international locations separately, exhibiting how the that means of democracy varies between them. A key topic emerges: there isn't any uniform “Latin American” realizing of democracy, even though the international locations percentage vital styles. different essays hint concerns throughout obstacles, reminiscent of the position of ethnicity on perceptions of democracy. numerous of the members additionally examine democratic norms in Latin the US with these open air the zone, together with the U.S.. Concluding essays examine the institutional and coverage results of the information, together with how attitudes towards deepest as opposed to public possession are associated with democratization.
Every essay within the assortment is predicated at the similar info set, incorporated on a CD-ROM packaged inside of each one booklet, leading to an organically cohesive paintings supreme to be used in classes introducing Latin American and 3rd global politics, comparative politics, democratic transition, and examine equipment. students and scholars may well use the software program and knowledge set at the CD-ROM for comparative examine tasks associated with the essays within the volume.
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Additional resources for Citizen Views of Democracy in Latin America
The index is constructed with the following items in a question format similar to that of the four-item index: Categories from questions 1 and 2: 1 A high level of economic growth; 2 Making sure this country has strong defense forces; 3 Seeing that people have more say about how things are done at their jobs and in their communities; 4 Trying to make our cities and countryside more beautiful. Categories from questions 3 and 4: 1 Maintaining order in the country; 2 Giving people more say in important government decisions; 3 Fighting inflation; 4 Protecting freedom of expression.
18 The index includes seven variables from the World Values Survey that tap three main issues: Two variables measure general support for democracy as a political system. Three variables measure support for democracy based on attitudes toward its ability to perform well economically, its efﬁciency, and its ability to maintain order. It is necessary to say that the variable that taps economic performance is not a measure of how the current government is handling the economy or whether the current economy is doing well or poorly.
As the survey includes three nations, I use one of them, Costa Rica, as a base for comparison. The appendix to this chapter shows the way in which each variable was coded. The analysis shows several aspects. First of all, information variables matter, in some cases even more than cultural variables. Second, individuals’ levels of sophistication clearly correspond to different ways of thinking of democracy. Third, age also makes a difference in how individuals see democracy, suggesting that there is an important generation gap in Latin America with respect to the meaning of democracy.
Citizen Views of Democracy in Latin America by Roderic Ai Camp