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Democracy and state bias in Latin America: some lessons from Mexico, Peru and Venezuela

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This discussion considers why democracy has not so far led to the creation of impartial, honest and effective state institutions in Mexico, Venezuela and Peru. The explanation offered is essentially historical-institutional. Non-impartial (that is, biased) types of governance have a tendency to reproduce themselves over time due to the advantages that they offer to the powerful. However this observation, while true, does not explain why democracy has not done more to bring about the rule of law. The research focuses on Mexico, Peru and Venezuela because these are all cases in which democracy has failed spectacularly to discipline political competition within a framework of law. The Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party maintains significant popular support despite conclusive evidence of previous ballot rigging, and continuing evidence of large-scale corruption. Peru's Fujimori was re-elected as president in 1995 despite previously using force to close the national Congress. Venezuela's Chavez convincingly won presidential elections in 1998, only six years after leading a coup attempt against an elected government.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/26846/

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