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Home > Catalogue > Free Market Democracy and the Chilean and Mexican Countryside
Free Market Democracy and the Chilean and Mexican Countryside


  • 22 tables
  • Page extent: 264 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.39 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521534741 | ISBN-10: 0521534747)

DOI: 10.2277/0521534747

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 17:01 GMT, 27 November 2015)


This book examines the relationship between free markets and democracy. It demonstrates how the implementation of even very painful free-market economic reforms in Chile and Mexico have helped to consolidate democratic politics without engendering a backlash against either reform or democratization. This national-level compatibility between free markets and democracy, however, is founded on their rural incompatibility. In the countryside, free-market reforms socially isolate peasants to such a degree that they become unable to organize independently, and are vulnerable to the pressures of local economic elites. This helps to create an electoral coalition behind free-market reforms that is critically based in some of the market's biggest victims: the peasantry. The book concludes that the comparatively stable free-market democracy in Latin America hinges critically on its defects in the countryside; conservative, free-market elites may consent to open politics only if they have a rural electoral redoubt.

• The book combines carefully designed case-based analysis with advanced statistical techniques • The book is useful for area-based, thematic and methodological teaching. The last is true particularly because of its use of an uncommon multi-method, multi-level research design • This is a rare effort to seriously consider the effect of free markets on democracy


Acknowledgements; Part I. The Framework and Theoretical Argument: 1. Posing the right questions; 2. The sectoral foundations of free market democracy; Part II. The Cases: 3. Neoliberalism and the transformation of rural society in Chile; 4. Social capital, organization, political participation and democratic competition in Chile; 5. The consolidation of free market democracy and Chilean electoral competition, 1988–2000; 6. Markets and democratization in Mexico: rural politics between Corporatism and Neoliberalism; Part III. Conclusions and Implications: 7. Political competitiveness, organized interests, and the democratic market; References; Index.

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