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Latin American Political Culture
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Latin American Political Culture
Public Opinion and Democracy



November 2014 | 312 pages | CQ Press
Latin American Political Culture: Public Opinion and Democracy presents a genuinely pan-Latin American examination of the region’s contemporary political culture. This is the only book to extensively investigate the attitudes and behaviors of Latin Americans based on the Latin American Public Opinion Project’s (LAPOP) AmericasBarometer surveys. Through its analysis of data on eighteen countries, the book systematically and comparatively evaluates norms, attitudes, and opinions concerning democracy and its consolidation. Beginning with an introduction of political culture and its scholarship, it examines democratic and authoritarian norms, explores how citizens relate to the political world, and considers implications for democratic stability. It then examines key behavioral outcomes in politics, such as in attitudes toward gays and fear of crime, and how political culture changes over time. Case studies highlight how these factors come together in particular cases. The findings reveal a complex Latin America with distinct political cultures. This book joins rigorous analysis with clear graphic presentation and extensive examples.  Readers learn about public opinion research, engage with further questions for analysis, and have access to data, an expansive bibliography, and links to appendices.

 
Part I: Introduction
 
Chapter 1: Latin American Political Culture and Democracy: Introduction
What Is Political Culture? A Common Language for Politics

 
Why Political Culture Matters: An Argument Over Its Function

 
Views of Latin American Political Culture: Traditional Theories and an Emerging New Picture

 
The Goal of This Book

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 
 
Part II: A Survey of Latin American Political Cultural Norms
 
Chapter 2: Do Latin Americans Support Democracy?
What Model of Democracy?

 
Historical-Cultural Background and Latin American Political Culture

 
Sources of Democratic Attitudes

 
Case Study: Uruguay Is the Most Culturally Democratic Latin American Country

 
Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 
 
Chapter 3: Do Latin Americans Reject Authoritarian Norms?
Authoritarian Norms in a Democratic Context?

 
Historical-Cultural Background

 
Surveying Latin Americans’ Commitment to Authoritarian and Antidemocratic Political Norms

 
Authoritarianism and Related Norms Among Latin Americans

 
Sources of Authoritarian and Antidemocratic Norms

 
Case Study: Political Culture and Honduras’ “Pajama Coup”

 
Discussion and Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 
 
Chapter 4: Views of Government and the Political System
Historical-Cultural Background

 
Views About Politics And Government

 
Political Efficacy and Trust

 
Party Identification And Ideology

 
Expectations of the Political System: Government and Welfare and Divisions on the Rule of Law

 
Case Study: Caudillismo, Confrontation, and Venezuela's Crisis in the Bolivarian Revolution

 
Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 
 
Chapter 5: Demand for Democracy and Evaluation of Government’s Institutions
The Performance of Latin American Governments

 
Citizens’ Evaluations of Their Governments

 
Explaining Satisfaction With Democracy

 
Case Study: Vigilante Justice in Mexico- Failed Public Security and Autodefensas

 
Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 
 
Part III: Critical Issues of Latin American Political Culture
 
Chapter 6: Civic and Political Participation
Historical-Cultural Background

 
How Citizens Participate

 
Civil Society Activism

 
Political Participation

 
Case Study: Brazil- Sao Paulo Youth Protest for Access to Fancy Malls

 
Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 
 
Chapter 7: Innate Characteristics and Political Culture: Gender, Age, Race, and Ethnicity
Gender

 
Age

 
Race and Ethnicity

 
Skin Color

 
Case Study: Cultural Integration of Indigenous Guatemalans and Bolivians

 
Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 
 
Chapter 8: Acquired Cleavages and Political Culture
Religious Identity

 
Education

 
Economic Status

 
Case Study: Tolerance of Gays Reveals Powerful Religious and Contextual Effects

 
Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 
 
Chapter 9: Dynamic Factors and Political Culture
The Age of Democracy and Political Culture

 
Economic Crisis and Political Attitudes

 
Social and Political Capital and Democratization

 
Case Study: Women in Elite Politics

 
Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Questions

 
 
Part IV: Conclusions About Latin American Political Culture
 
Chapter 10: Conclusions: Consolidating Democratic Culture
Summing Up: What We Have Learned

 
Latin America and Its Northern Neighbors

 
Practical Implications of Political Culture

 
Conclusions

 
Further Analysis Exercises

 

Insightful book, great for wider reading on Latin America.

Ms LB Begum
Department of Management & IT, University of Wales, Trinity St David
August 28, 2014

Insightful book, great for wider reading on Latin America.

Ms LB Begum
Department of Management & IT, University of Wales, Trinity St David
August 28, 2014

Insightful book, great for wider reading on Latin America. Easy to adopt, not a dense a book. I would recommend.

Ms LB Begum
Department of Management & IT, University of Wales, Trinity St David
August 28, 2014
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Tables and Figures illustrate important aspects of data from AmericasBarometer surveys on Latin American views of democracy, authoritarianism, government institutions, and political behavior and attitudes, which the narrative sets into wider context.
  • Case Studies in each chapter illuminate aspects of political culture and provide a basis from which to understand the data discussed and how it relates to actions and events in Latin America.
  • Further Analysis Exercises conclude each chapter and encourage students to apply their understanding of the data to developments and differences in the region.
  • Comparisons to the United States and Canada appear in many figures and in discussion giving students a point of reference.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2

Chapter 4


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