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Presidential Impeachment and the New Political Instability in Latin America
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  • 7 b/w illus. 18 tables
  • Page extent: 264 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.56 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 328.8/07453
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: JL959.5.C6 P47 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Impeachments--Latin America
    • Political corruption--Latin America

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521869423)

Documents the emergence of a pattern of political instability in Latin America. Traditional military coups have receded in the region, but elected presidents are still ousted from power as a result of recurrent crises. Aníbal Pérez-Liñán shows that presidential impeachment has become the main constitutional instrument employed by civilian elites to depose unpopular rulers. Based on detailed comparative research in five countries and extensive historical information, the book explains why crises without breakdown have become the dominant form of instability in recent years and why some presidents are removed from office while others survive in power. The analysis emphasizes the erosion of presidential approval resulting from corruption and unpopular policies, the formation of hostile coalitions in Congress, and the role of investigative journalism. This book challenges classic assumptions in studies of presidentialism and provides important insights for the fields of political communication, democratization, political behaviour, and institutional analysis.

• Was the first book to identify and explain the new pattern of instability in Latin America • Extensive historical coverage of presidential crises in the region, 1950–2004 • Quantitative and qualitative sources for the study available online


1. Institutional crises in presidential regimes; 2. Five cases of impeachment and a presumed madman; 3. Presidential crises and the decline of military intervention; 4. Latin America in the age of scandal; 5. Scandals and the political economy of popular outrage; 6. Building a legislative shield: the institutional determinants of impeachment; 7. Towards a new pattern of political instability; 8. Rethinking Latin American presidentialism.


'… Pérez-Liñan's Presidential Impeachment is an exceptional piece of political science scholarship … very well written, the arguments are persuasive and the empirical analysis is superb. This book should be used in any upper-level undergraduate course and graduate seminar on Latin American politics and institutions. … a very valuable contribution to our understanding of the current performance of democratic regimes in Latin America.' The Review of Politics

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