Title

State Segmentation and Democratic Survival in Latin America

Date of Publication

2020 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Political Stability

Keywords

srhreports, politicalstability, Democracy, political stability, inequality, elites, democratic breakdowns, state segmentation, democratic regimes, Latin America, civil rights

Description

“Popular models portray that high inequality induces elites to sponsor coups and reverse democratization as a means for repressing redistributive demands. Challenging this prediction, Latin America shifted from a historical pattern of systematic democratic breakdowns to one characterized by the resilience of democracy despite extreme levels of inequality. This article argues that the reminiscence of state-led repression under democracy explains why elites more regularly waive coups as solutions to distributive conflict in Latin American democracies. I call this state segmentation, a concept that describes the asymmetries between the enforcement of citizenship rights for those in privileged positions and for the poor. Wherever state segmentation is high, the odds of democratic breakdown should be lower. I test the argument using logistic regression models to predict the probability of coups and mandate interruptions considering different levels of state segmentation in Latin America using V-Dem data. Results show that asymmetries in access to citizenship rights indeed prevent democratic breakdowns."

Share

 
COinS
 
Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

State Segmentation and Democratic Survival in Latin America

“Popular models portray that high inequality induces elites to sponsor coups and reverse democratization as a means for repressing redistributive demands. Challenging this prediction, Latin America shifted from a historical pattern of systematic democratic breakdowns to one characterized by the resilience of democracy despite extreme levels of inequality. This article argues that the reminiscence of state-led repression under democracy explains why elites more regularly waive coups as solutions to distributive conflict in Latin American democracies. I call this state segmentation, a concept that describes the asymmetries between the enforcement of citizenship rights for those in privileged positions and for the poor. Wherever state segmentation is high, the odds of democratic breakdown should be lower. I test the argument using logistic regression models to predict the probability of coups and mandate interruptions considering different levels of state segmentation in Latin America using V-Dem data. Results show that asymmetries in access to citizenship rights indeed prevent democratic breakdowns."