This book presents a new theory for why political regimes emerge, and why they subsequently survive or break down. It then analyzes the emergence, survival and fall of democracies and dictatorships in Latin America since 1900. Scott Mainwaring and Anibal Perez-Linan argue for a theoretical approach situated between long-term structural and cultural explanations and short-term explanations that look at the decisions of specific leaders. They focus on the political preferences of powerful actors - the degree to which they embrace democracy as an intrinsically desirable end and their policy radicalism - to explain regime outcomes. They also demonstrate that transnational forces and influences are crucial to understand regional waves of democratization. Based on extensive research into the political histories of all twenty Latin American countries, this book offers the first extended analysis of regime emergence, survival and failure for all of Latin America over a long period of time.
Scott Mainwaring is the Eugene and Helen Conley Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include democratic institutions, democratization, and political parties and party systems. Among his previous books are Rethinking Party Systems in the Third Wave of Democratization: The Case of Brazil (1999), The Third Wave of Democratization in Latin America: Advances and Setbacks (co-edited, Cambridge University Press, 2005), The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes (co-edited, 2006) and Democratic Governance in Latin America (co-edited, 2010). Mainwaring is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, he was listed as one of the 400 most cited political scientists teaching in the United States. Anibal Perez-Linan is an Associate Professor of Political Science and a member of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on democratization, political institutions, and the rule of law in new democracies. He is the author of Presidential Impeachment and the New Political Instability in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and has published articles in the Journal of Politics, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, and Electoral Studies, among other journals. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Winner of Latin American Studies Association Political Institutions Section Donna Lee Van Cott Book Award 2014. Joint winner for American Political Science Association Comparative Democratization Section Best Book Award 2014.