The Consolidation of Democracy: Comparing Europe and Latin America (Democratization Studies)

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The breakdown of democratic regimes. Johns Hopkins University Press. Political parties and democratization in Brazil and the Southern Cone. Comparative Politics, 21, 91 - The politics of regime transition in Latin America. University of Pittsburgh Press. Conflicting political culture and the quest for progress.

Latin American Revolutions: Crash Course World History #31

Party politics and elections in Latin America. Modernization and bureaucratic authoritarianism. Institute of International Studies, University of California.

The Consolidation of Democracy: Comparing Europe and Latin America

Transitions from authoritarian rule Vols. The political consequences of electoral laws rev. Latin American political statistics. Latin American Center, University of California. Costa Rica and Jamaica. Leadership and change, intellectuals and technocrats in Mexico. Political forces in Argentina rev.

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The Mexican ruling party. The Consolidation of Democracy: Comparing Europe and Latin America. Abingdon ; New York: Routledge, , Democratization Studies. Secondly, the parties can count on a number of resources to increase their influence abroad. Some parties have considerable financial resources at their disposal. The German parties, for example, who Nave created foundations, or stiftungen, which operate in Latin America. And thirdly, the parties can use their transnational linkages and contacts to influence, advise and guide how their Latin American counterparts think and act during a transition.

The influence of political parties in the transitions in Latin America is not constant. That is, though the parties may express consistent interest and concern about developments in the region, their capacity to help shape political outcomes is not permanent. Following Whitehead, we can identify three stages of external activity in a transition to democracy: It is our contention that the parties may play an important role in the first stage, in drawing attention to human rights abuses and assisting at times, in individual cases, in supporting Latin American party activity in exile, and at times in assisting the domestic opposition.

It has been consistently criticized for its weak economic base. Indeed, democratization could be said to have dominated the agenda in the s.


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In , for example, of the 19 declarations issued that year within the framework of European Political Cooperation, 18 referred to democratization, elections and human rights Grugel, One reason why democracy became such an important issue on the agenda was because deeper economic contacts have proved impossible, principally on account of EC protectionism, which has impeded Latin America expanding its export quota in Europe.

Europe's policy of protecting its temperate agricultural production through the Common Agricultural Policy has been particularly negative for Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, important partners for Europe in the past. At the same time, access for finished products into the European market, through the General System of Preferences, is slow and bureaucratic. It is in this context that political concerns, especially that of democracy, have to be understood.

Through the s and s, the European political parties were particularly influential in determining the agenda in the biregional relationship, though this is now in a period of change. For the parties, the promotion of democracy in the Southern Cone was more than simply a substitute for economic activity. Political parties tend to express a commitment to democracy for its own sake, and a wish to see the system adopted elsewhere. Additionally, European political parties have tended to stress the existence of a democratic culture in Latin America. For them, it was not a case of creating democratic institutions in Latin America, but rather of supporting their restitution.

At the same time, they stressed their own experiences in managing transitions from authoritarian governments to democracy. And, finally, they have drawn attention in the medium to long term to the importance of creating a stable socio-economic environment in which to complete the transition. As a result, in parties' discourse on democratization, a persistent link has been established between development and democracy.

Belief that there is a relationship between economic progress, reform and democracy is a characteristic running through the speeches of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, and later Liberals and Conservatives, with reference to Latin America. A word of caution is necessary here before proceeding to a fuller discussion of the role of European parties in Southern Cone democratization: European political parties' activities start from the common presumption that their role is one of external and logistic support for an essentially internal process.

Geoffrey Pridham has wisely warned against attempting the task of determining how important external factors are: The importance of external policies lies in the fact that they create an international climate favouring democratic change and offer assistance to domestic actors at key moments in the transition.

The brutality of the coup placed Chile, a country with a history of democracy, at the centre of world attention. Despite the length of time the Pinochet regime survived, from , it was unable to draw up a satisfactory and stable network of diplomatic relations. Chilean relations with Western Europe were particularly critical as the EC was to become a major trading partner in the s. Western Europe's closest relations were, nonetheless, with the democratic opposition.

Reverberations from the coup in Europe were perhaps greatest in those countries which were thought to be similar in political structures and culture to Chile; in Italy in particular, where Chilean political leaders in exile found support, and later in Spain, after the death of Franco.

Democratization and the Institutionalization of Latin American Political Parties

However, the Chilean coup also provoked important reactions from political parties in Britain, Germany and Sweden. Party solidarity with the exiled democratic parties took a variety of forms Angell, In Britain, although the solidarity campaigns were in the hands of non- governmental organizations such as Chile Solidarity or the Chile Committeefor Human Rights, and the trade union movement, the Labour Party chose to use the parliamentary arena to express support for Chilean democracy.

During the Labour Administration, , arms sales to Chile were banned and the Ambassador was recalled from Santiago after a British doctor was tortured. The Conservative Party only joined the Labour Party in its concern to promote democratization in Chile after At this time, the transition to democracy had begun following the plebiscite in , and the global trend was firmly established towards democratization after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

As a result, for the first time, Chile was taken up, albeit in a relatively marginal way, in a bipartisan consensus. An All-Party Parliamentary Committee was created to monitor progress in the country, and both the major parties expressed support for the government's policy of favouring collective action on Chile through the EC.

In the annual debate on Latin America in , there was all-party consensus on the theme of democratization, with the Conservative spokesperson, Ray Whitney, linking it to the spread of liberal economics and George Foulkes, for the Labour Party, stressing the need for structural reforms and national reconciliation. Chile was praised as an exemplary case of democratic reconstruction: They are facing up to the unhappy legacies, instead of sweeping them under the carpet" Hansard, And all parties are currently collaborating in the Westminister Foundation, set up in to promote democraty abroad, which has some projects in the Southern Cone.

The Labour Party has been provided with funds to visit Chile in as part of a program of support for the democratic parties there; and the British Foreign Office has begun a cooperation programme with the Chilean Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, with the aim of modernizing Chilean diplomacy. Compared to policies adopted by the parties in Italy and more so in Germany, however, the British contribution to democratization in Chile is small.

The Italian parties, especially the Communist Party later PDS and the Christian Democrats, which have important links with their counterpart parties inside the country, expressed support for democratization in Chile on two levels. Firstly, they were prominent in organizing multiparty solidarity for the Chilean exile community. And secondly, the Italian parties have used the funds allocated to them by parliament for development cooperation to support the democratic forces inside Chile, although Argentina was a more important country for Italian development cooperation.

The Italian Communist Party's most important external activities centred on Chile. Given the size of the Chilean Communist Party, this was inevitable. The PCI was in permanent contact with the panty in exile, though ideological debates were heated in view of the Chileans' traditional pro-Moscow positions. Nonetheless, the PCI campaigned consistently on the Chilean question, promoting multiparty alliances in Europe on the issue.

One of the party's most important contributions was during the plebiscite in , in Chile.

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The PCI assisted with the preparatory work, the campaigning and, in particular, with the polling office in Santiago in the months running up to the vote. The Communist trade union federation, the CGIL, also concetrated its efforts in Chile, funding publications, grants for study abroad for Chilean trade unionists, and humanitarian aid. Despite its cultural separation from the Hispanic world, the importance of the German parties was central in providing external support for Latin American democratization, and in creating a framework for European activity in the area, as indeed had been the case earlier in Southern Europe Pridham,