Skip to main content
×
Home

Democratic Institutions Beyond the Nation State: Measuring Institutional Dissimilarity in Federal Countries

Abstract

The persistence of subnational undemocratic regimes in new democracies has recently revived interest in intra-national patterns of democratization. This article offers new data and a methodological contribution to this literature, emphasizing the measurement of institutional variation across territorial units and levels of government. Developing new measures of the unevenness of democratic institutions within individual countries, and illustrating these measures with an original data set on electoral rules in Mexico at the federal level and across 32 subnational units, we provide tools to enhance the study of democracy, particularly at the subnational level and in federal or decentralized systems. More specifically, we develop measures of institutional characteristics across a country's spatial units and of federal-to-state institutional dissimilarity – what we call system-wide institutional incongruence.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

Imke Harbers is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation. Contact email: I.Harbers@uva.nl. Matthew C. Ingram is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Contact email: mingram@albany.edu. Both authors contributed equally to this work.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Beer C.C. (2003), Electoral Competition and Institutional Change in Mexico (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press).
Beer C.C. (2006), ‘Judicial Performance and the Rule of Law in the Mexican States’, Latin American Politics and Society, 48(3): 3336.
Beer C.C.Mitchell N. (2004), ‘Democracy and Human Rights in the Mexican States: Elections or Social Capital?’, International Studies Quarterly, 48: 293312.
Behrend J. (2011), ‘The Unevenness of Democracy at the Subnational Level: Provincial Closed Games in Argentina’, Latin American Research Review, 46(1): 150176.
Birnir J.K. (2004), ‘Stabilizing Party Systems and Excluding Segments of Society? The Effects of Formation Costs on New Party Foundation in Latin America’, Studies in Comparative International Development, 39(3): 327.
Birnir J.K. (2005), ‘Public Venture Capital and Party Institutionalization’, Comparative Political Studies, 38(8): 915938.
Bland G. (2011), ‘Considering Local Democratic Transition in Latin America’, Journal of Politics in Latin America, 3(1): 6598.
Borges A. (2011), ‘The Political Consequences of Center-Led Redistribution in Brazilian Federalism: The Fall of Subnational Party Machines’, Latin American Research Review, 46(3): 2145.
Calvo E.Micozzi J.P. (2005), ‘The Governor's Backyard: A Seat–Vote Model of Electoral Reform for Subnational Multiparty Races’, Journal of Politics, 67(4): 10501074.
Chandler W.M.Chandler M.A. (1987), ‘Federalism and Political Parties’, European Journal of Political Economy, 3(1–2): 87109.
Cornelius W. (1999), ‘Subnational Politics and Democratization: Tensions between Center and Periphery in the Mexican Political System’, in W. Cornelius, T. Eisenstadt and J. Hindley (eds), Subnational Politics and Democratization in Mexico (La Jolla: Center for US–Mexican Studies, University of California): 316.
Crespo J.A. (2004), ‘Party Competition in Mexico: Evolution and Prospects’, in K.J. Middlebrook (ed.), Dilemmas of Political Change in Mexico (London: Institute of Latin American Studies): 5781.
Eisenstadt T.A. (2004), Courting Democracy in Mexico: Party Strategies and Electoral Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Geddes B. (1999), ‘What do we Know about Democratization after Twenty Years?’, Annual Review of Political Science, 2(1): 115144.
Gibson E. (2005), ‘Boundary Control: Subnational Authoritarianism in Democratic Countries’, World Politics, 58(1): 101132.
Gibson E. (2010), ‘Politics of the Periphery: An Introduction to Subnational Authoritarianism and Democratization in Latin America’, Journal of Politics in Latin America, 2: 312.
Gibson E.Suarez-Cao J. (2010), ‘Federalized Party Systems and Subnational Party Competition: Theory and an Empirical Application to Argentina’, Comparative Politics, 43(1): 2139.
Giraudy A. (2010), ‘The Politics of Subnational Undemocratic Regime Reproduction in Argentina and Mexico’, Journal of Politics in Latin America, 2(2): 5384.
Giraudy A. (2012), ‘Subnational Democracy: Lessons from Latin America’, APSA-CD, Comparative Democratization, 10(1), January.
Hagopian F. (1996), Traditional Politics and Regime Change in Brazil (New York: Cambridge University Press).
Hauss C.Rayside D. (1978), ‘The Development of New Parties in Western Democracies since 1945’, in L. Maisel and J. Cooper (eds), Political Parties: Development and Decay (Beverly Hills: Sage): 3158.
Holzner C. (2010), Poverty of Democracy: The Institutional Roots of Political Participation in Mexico (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press).
Hooghe L.Marks G. (2003), ‘Unraveling the Central State, but How? Types of Multi-level Governance’, American Political Science Review, 97(2): 233243.
Hug S. (2001), Altering Party Systems: Strategic Behavior and the Emergence of New Political Parties in Western Democracies (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press).
Ingram M.C. (2012a), ‘Crafting Courts in New Democracies: Ideology and Judicial Council Reforms in Three Mexican States’, Comparative Politics, 44(4): 439458.
Ingram M.C. (2012b), ‘Elections, Ideology, or Opposition? Assessing Competing Explanations of Judicial Spending in Mexico’, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, published early online 31 January.
Katz R.S.Mair P. (1995), ‘Changing Models of Party Organization and Party Democracy: The Emergence of the Cartel Party’, Party Politics, 1(1): 528.
Key V.O. (1949), Southern Politics in State and Nation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf).
Lijphart A. (1975), ‘The Comparable-Cases Strategy in Comparative Research’, Comparative Political Studies, 8(2): 158177.
Lujambio A. (2001), ‘Democratization through Federalism? The National Action Party Strategy, 1939–2000’, in K. Middlebrook (ed.), Party Politics and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico (La Jolla: Center for US-Mexican Studies): 4794.
McMann K.M. (2006), Economic Autonomy and Democracy: Hybrid Regimes in Russia and Kyrgyztan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Mainwaring S., Gervasoni C.España-Nájera A. (2010), The Vote Share of New and Young Parties, Kellogg Institute Working Paper 368.
Miragliotta N. (2012), ‘From Local to National: Explaining the Formation of the Australian Green Party’, Party Politics, 18(3): 409425.
Moncada E.Snyder R. (2012), ‘Subnational Comparative Research on Democracy: Taking Stock and Looking Forward’, APSA-CD, Comparative Democratization, 10(1), January.
Monsiváis Carrillo A. (2009), 'La equidad electoral formal en los estados: México (1996–2007)’, Perfiles Latinoamericanos, 17(33): 737.
Montero A.P.Samuels D.J. (2004) (eds), Decentralization and Democracy in Latin America (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press).
O'Donnell G. (1993), ‘The Browning of Latin America’, New Perspectives Quarterly, 10(4): 5053.
O'Donnell G. (1994), ‘Delegative Democracy’, Journal of Democracy, 5(1): 5569.
Rae D.W. (1971), The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).
Rosenstone S.J., Behr R.L.Lazarus E.H. (1984), Third Parties in America: Citizen Response to Major Party Failure (Princeton: Princeton University Press).
Sartori G. (1970), ‘Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics’, American Political Science Review, 64(4): 10331053.
Sartori G. (2005), Parties and Party Systems: A Framework for Analysis (Colchester: ECPR Press) (first published 1976).
Snyder R. (2001), ‘Scaling Down: The Subnational Comparative Method’, Studies in Comparative and International Development, 36(1): 93110.
Spirova M. (2007), Political Parties in Post-Communist Societies: Formation, Persistence, and Change (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).
Stefuriuc I. (2007), ‘Governing Coalitions in Multi-level Settings: State-wide Parties and the Sub-National Arena in Spain’, in K. Deschouwer and M.T. Jans (eds), Politics Beyond the State (Brussels: Brussels University Press): 4570.
Tavits M. (2008), ‘Party Systems in the Making: The Emergence and Success of New Parties in New Democracies’, British Journal of Political Science, 38(1): 113133.
Véliz C. (1980), The Centralist Tradition of Latin America (Princeton: Princeton University Press).
Willey J. (1998), ‘Institutional Arrangements and the Success of New Parties in Old Democracies’, Political Studies, 46(3): 651668.
Wuhs S.T. (2008), Savage Democracy: Institutional Change and Party Development in Mexico (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
  • EISSN: 1477-7053
  • URL: /core/journals/government-and-opposition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 50 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 169 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.