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Política y gobierno

Print version ISSN 1665-2037


BARRUETO, Felipe  and  NAVIA, Patricio. Representative Democracy Typologies in Latin America. Polít. gob [online]. 2013, vol.20, n.2, pp.265-307. ISSN 1665-2037.

We contrast the theoretical conceptions of representative democracy with the perceptions Latin American citizens have about democracy. We first analyze the theoretical conceptions of democracy and classify them as minimalist, procedural, result-driven and maximalist. We then apply those definitions to the LAPOP poll conducted in 2006 in 16 Latin American countries to associate the different theoretical conceptions to the survey questions that inquire on people's perception of democracy in Latin America. We evaluate which conceptions of democracy are more prevalent in the different countries. We analyze the relationship between economic development and economic conditions with the different conceptions of democracy included in the poll. We find the procedural conception of democracy to be more prevalent in the region. The other typologies of democracy vary according to institutional and economic conditions in each country. In countries with lower per capita gdp and more political restrictions, result-driven and maximalist typologies are more prevalent than in more developed countries. Finally, we analyze individual level data from all countries and show that people with higher income tend to favor minimalist and procedural definitions of democracy.

Keywords : definition of democracy; perceptions of democracy; public opinion polls; institutions; economic development; Latin America.

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