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Economic Shocks and Democratic Vulnerabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Abby Córdova and Mitchell A. Seligson

Historical evidence suggests that bad economic times often mean bad times for democracy, but prior research has given us little guidance on how this process may work. What economic conditions are most threatening, and how might they weaken consolidating democracies? This article uses the AmericasBarometer conducted by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) to answer these questions by focusing on core attitudes for the consolidation of democracy. We use survey data at the level of the individual and economic data at the country level to help detect democratic vulnerabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The study finds that conditions of low levels of economic development, low economic growth, and high levels of income inequality increase those vulnerabilities substantially, but the effects are not uniform across individuals. Some groups, especially the young and the poor, are particularly vulnerable to some antidemocratic appeals.

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Latin American Politics and Society
  • ISSN: 1531-426X
  • EISSN: 1548-2456
  • URL: /core/journals/latin-american-politics-and-society
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