DEMOCRACY: The Economic Roots of Unstable Regimes


Professor Kenneth Roberts argues that the success — or lack thereof — of Latin American democracies has its roots in the type of party that was at the helm during the implementation of 1990s-era neoliberal policies.

Latin America’s young democracies present an interesting puzzle: while their party systems display high levels of instability, their political regimes have proven to be much more stable than expected. Unlike in the past, social unrest has not led to military intervention. Despite the meltdown of their representative institutions, Latin American societies have dealt with their crises within the limits of democracy. In other words, the crisis of the party system has not translated into a crisis of the democratic regimes.

Belén Fernández Milmanda
Publication date: 
January 15, 2013
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article