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Política y gobierno

versión impresa ISSN 1665-2037


LEIRAS, Marcelo. Decentralization Processes and Party System Nationalization in Latin America. Polít. gob [online]. 2010, vol.17, n.2, pp.205-241. ISSN 1665-2037.

Recent theories argue that decentralization induces party system denationalization because the transfer of financial resources and administrative responsibilities renders sub-national governments more relevant. The effect only holds if: a) voters can judge sub-national policies but the institutional environment prevents them from voting for different parties in election for offices of different level; or b) if sub-national party organizations have incentives to prioritize sub-national competition. A comparative analysis of four highly decentralized Latin American countries and a closer look at the Argentine case confirm the validity of this interpretation. The results suggest that decentralization may alter territorial patterns of political competition depending on how evolves, for other reasons, the relationship between arenas of different level. In order to analyze more conclusively the relationship between decentralization and party nationalization it is necessary to refine existing theories and apply improved estimation techniques that allow for the identification of endogenous effects.

Palabras llave : decentralization; party system nationalization; multi-level governance; electoral coordination; federalism; Latin America; Argentina; Bolivia; Colombia; Brasil; Mexico.

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