790-312 notes 11-28

790-312 notes 11-28 - The Puzzle Shift from Democracy to...

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The Puzzle: Shift from Democracy to Populist Autocracy in Venezuela 1958 – 1998: Venezuela one of most durable democracies in Latin America, where many other countries in La were run by military dictatorships Competition between two major parties: Democratic Action (AD) and COPEI (Christian Democrats) Both were Centrist and slightly right of center COPEI Represents European Christian democrats These parties alternated control Freedom of press, civil society freedom This began to break down in 1980s Economic crisis and loss in beginning of 80s and 90s Never really sustained recovery Gradually, democratic regime lost legitimacy and the 2 parties eroded Election of chavez in 1998 Political polarization and gradual concentration of power Why? BASIS of DEMOCRATIC POLITICS cooperative relationship between leaders of major parties, unions, business all of these form tight nit group with attempts to build agreements between interest group and party lines competition could undermine democracy oil second basic weakness to democracy major source of revenue through which political leadership could maintain and build their constiuent support these were double edged swords, both can support democracy but also hurt as well as shown also source of weakness: –agreements within political class reduce connection with people - dependence on oil leaves economy vulnerable to collapse… because it reduces incentive to diversify economy and how government can exchange revenue for government sources leaves an economy and political system vulnerable to collapse
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790-312 notes 11-28 - The Puzzle Shift from Democracy to...

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