Regimes and Democracy in Latin America
Studies in Comparative International Development, Spring 2001, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 3–6.
4 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017
Date Written: 2001
The dramatic alternation of democratic and authoritarian regimes in Latin America has provided both the empirical base and the normative motivation for research that is conceptually innovative, methodologically self-conscious, and richly grounded in analysis of cases. This tradition has generated an impressive range of substantive findings about some of the most important questions of politics. Moreover, it has seen significant methodological innovation — yielding new perspectives on small-N comparative method and contributing to the refinement and enrichment of concepts in comparative research. For these reasons, over nearly four decades the study of national political regimes in Latin America has been a prominent locus of influential work in comparative politics and comparative social science. This special issue of Studies in Comparative International Development presents a new set of articles that further advances this tradition. The three central concerns are: (1) formulating new agendas and research questions; (2) addressing methodological issues, specifically the measurement of key concepts and the systematic use of subnational comparison; and (3) advancing the empirical assessment of causal claims about regime change, building on an approach that frames these claims within a long time horizon. The symposium includes contributions by Guillermo O'Donnell, “ Democracy, Law, and Comparative Politics”; Scott Mainwaring, Daniel Brinks, Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, “ Classifying Political Regimes in Latin America” ; Andreas Schedler, “ Measuring Democratic Consolidation”; Richard Snyder “ Scaling Down: The Subnational Comparative Method”; and James Mahoney, “Path-Dependent Explanations of Regime Change: Central America in Comparative Perspective.”
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