2916 - Democratic Breakdown and Presidential Instability in Latin America

Until the 1990s, elected presidents in Latin America were often removed from office through military coups. Over the past two decades, impeachments and anticipated resignations have been more common, but coups have not disappeared completely. Are presidential impeachments and resignations functional equivalents of old-fashioned military coups? Do they originate in a different set of historical causes? In this paper we explore the causes of presidential instability in Latin America between 1945 and 2010. We integrate the literature on military interventions and recent works on “interrupted presidencies” to develop a unified theory of presidential instability. We test our theory using a novel database that contains information on presidents and political parties in 19 countries during the period under study. Using this information, we estimate a survival model to assess the competing risks of presidents facing a military coup or a constitutional removal during the past 65 years.

Keywords: Democratización, golpe militar, juicio politico, partidos políticos

Author: Perez-Linan, Anibal (University of Pittsburgh, Ud States of Am / USA)
Co-Author: Polga-Hecimovich, John (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Ud States of Am / USA)


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