Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Support for Coups in the Americas: Mass Norms and Democratization

  • Kaitlen J. Cassell (a1), John A. Booth (a2) and Mitchell A. Seligson (a3)
Abstract

Coups d’état, once a common end for democracies in the Americas, have declined sharply in recent years. This article investigates whether overall public support for coups is also in decline. Examining 21 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean from 2004 to 2014 helps to evaluate two alternative theses on democratization: Mainwaring and Pérez-Liñán’s 2013 normative regime preferences theory, which inquires (but does not test) whether public opinion can signal to elites a reluctance or willingness to support a coup; and classic modernization theory (Inglehart 1988; Inglehart and Welzel 2005). We find a substantively meaningful effect of democratic attitudes on coup support and a weak effect for national wealth, from which we infer that evolving elite values and preferences are paralleled at the mass level and that together, those two trends play a stronger role in the consolidation of democratic regimes than does modernization.

Copyright
Corresponding author
References
Hide All
Achen, Christopher H. 2005. Two-Step Hierarchical Estimation: Beyond Regression Analysis. Special Issue: Multilevel Modeling for Large Clusters. Political Analysis 13, 4: 447456.
Achen, Christopher H., and Bartels, Larry M.. 2016. Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Anderson, Christopher J., and Tverdova, Yuliya V.. 2003. Corruption, Political Allegiances, and Attitudes Toward Government in Contemporary Democracies. American Journal of Political Science 47, 1: 91109.
Bartels, Larry M. 1991. Constituency Opinion and Congressional Policy Making: The Reagan Defense Buildup. American Political Science Review 85, 2: 457474.
Booth, John A., and Seligson, Mitchell A.. 2005. Political Legitimacy and Participation in Costa Rica: Evidence of Arena Shopping. Political Research Quarterly 59, 4: 537550.
Booth, John A., and Seligson, Mitchell A.. 2009. The Legitimacy Puzzle in Latin America: Democracy and Political Support in Eight Nations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Booth, John A., and Richard, Patricia B.. 2015. Latin American Political Culture: Public Opinion and Democracy. Los Angeles: CQ Press/SAGE.
Canache, Damarys, and Allison, Michael E.. 2005. Perceptions of Political Corruption in Latin American Democracies. Latin American Politics and Society 47, 3: 91111.
Canes-Wrone, Brandice. 2006. Who Leads Whom? Presidents, Policy, and the Public. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Carlin, Ryan E., Singer, Matthew M., and Zechmeister, Elizabeth J., eds. 2015. The Latin American Voter: Pursuing Representation and Accountability in Challenging Contexts. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Carnaghan, Ellen, and Bahry, Donna. 1990. Political Attitudes and the Gender Gap in the USSR. Comparative Politics 22, 4: 379399.
Carreras, Miguel. 2013. The Impact of Criminal Violence on Regime Legitimacy in Latin America. Latin American Research Review 48, 3: 85107.
Casper, Brett Allen, and Tyson, Scott A.. 2014. Popular Protest and Elite Coordination in a Coup d’état. Journal of Politics 76, 2: 535547.
Clapham, Christopher, and Philip, George. 1985. The Political Dilemmas of Military Regimes. In The Political Dilemmas of Military Regimes, ed. Clapham and Philip. London: Croom Helm. 126.
Duch, Raymond M., and Stevenson, Randy. 2005. Context and the Economic Vote: A Multilevel Analysis. Political Analysis 13, 4: 387409.
Foa, Roberto Stefan, and Mounk, Yascha. 2016. The Danger of Deconsolidation: The Democratic Disconnect. Journal of Democracy 27, 3: 517.
Franzese, Christopher H. 2005. Empirical Strategies for Various Manifestations of Multilevel Data. Political Analysis 13, 4: 430446.
García-Peñalosa, Cecilia, and Konte, Maty. 2014. Why Are Women Less Democratic Than Men? Evidence from Sub-Saharan African Countries. World Development 59, 3: 104119.
Gibson, James L. 1988. Political Intolerance and Political Repression During the McCarthy Red Scare. American Political Science Review 82, 2: 511529.
Gilens, Martin, and Page, Benjamin I.. 2014. Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Perspectives on Politics 12, 3: 564581.
Hadenius, Axel, and Teorell, Jan. 2005. Cultural and Economic Prerequisites of Democracy: Reassessing Recent Evidence. Studies in Comparative International Development 39, 4: 87106.
Huber, John D., Kernell, Georgia, and Leoni, Eduardo L.. 2005. Institutional Context, Cognitive Resources, and Party Attachments Across Democracies. Political Analysis 13, 4: 365386.
Inglehart, Ronald. 1988. The Renaissance of Political Culture. American Political Science Review 82, 4: 12031230.
Inglehart, Ronald, and Welzel, Christian. 2005. Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Jackman, Robert W., and Miller, Ross Alan. 2004. Before Norms: Institutions and Civic Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Janowitz, Morris. 1977. Military Institutions and Coercion in the Developing Nations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Jusko, Karen Long, and Shively, W. Philip. 2005. Applying a Two-Step Strategy to the Analysis of Cross-National Public Opinion Data. Political Analysis 13, 4: 327344.
Kedar, Orit. 2005. How Diffusion of Power in Parliaments Affects Voter Choice. Political Analysis 13, 4: 410429.
Kuehn, David, and Trinkunas, Harold. 2017. Conditions of Military Contestation in Populist Latin America. Democratization 24, 5: 859880.
Lehoucq, Fabrice. 2017. Validity Is Not Conformity: Measuring Accuracy in Coup Data Sets. Comparative Democratization 15, 2: 1316.
Lehoucq, Fabrice, and Pérez-Liñán, Aníbal. 2013. Breaking Out of the Coup Trap: Political Competition and Military Coups in Latin America. Comparative Political Studies 47, 8: 11051129.
Linz, Juan J., and Stepan, Alfred C.. 1978. The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes: Latin America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Lipset, Seymour Martin. 1959. Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy. American Political Science Review 53, 1: 65105.
Lipset, Seymour Martin. 1981 [1961]. Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics. Expanded ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Lipset, Seymour Martin. 1994. The Social Requisites of Democracy Revisited. American Sociological Review 59, 1: 122.
Londregan, John, and Poole, Keith. 1990. Poverty, the Coup Trap, and Seizure of Executive Power. World Politics 42, 2: 151183.
Long, J. Scott, and Ervin, Laurie H.. 2000. Using Heteroscedasticity Consistent Standard Errors in the Linear Regression Model. American Statistician 54, 3: 217224.
Luna, Juan P., and Zechmeister, Elizabeth J.. 2005. Political Representation in Latin America: A Study of Elite-Mass Congruence in Nine Countries. Comparative Political Studies 38, 4: 388416.
Magaloni, Beatriz. 2007. Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and Its Demise in Mexico. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mainwaring, Scott, and Pérez-Liñán, Aníbal S.. 2013. Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Merolla, Jennifer L., and Zechmeister, Elizabeth J.. 2009. Democracy at Risk: How Terrorist Threats Affect the Public. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Miller, Wakken E., and Stokes, Donald E.. 1963. Constituency Influence in Congress. American Political Science Review 57, 1: 4556.
Moehler, Devra C., and Lindberg, Steffan I.. 2009. Narrowing the Legitimacy Gap: Turnovers as a Cause of Democratic Consolidation. Journal of Politics 71, 4: 14481466.
Muller, Edward N., and Seligson, Mitchell A.. 1994. Civic Culture and Democracy: The Question of Causal Relationships. American Political Science Review 88, 3: 635652.
Nun, José. 1967. The Middle-Class Military Coup. In The Politics of Conformity in Latin America, ed. Claudia Véliz. London: Oxford University Press. 66118.
O’Kane, Rosemary H. T. 1981. A Probabilistic Approach to the Causes of Coups d’état. British Journal of Political Science 11, 3: 287308.
Page, Benjamin I., and Shapiro, Robert. 1983. Effects of Public Opinion on Policy. American Political Science Review 77, 1: 175190.
Pérez, Orlando J. 2003. Democratic Legitimacy and Public Insecurity: Crime and Democracy in El Salvador and Guatemala. Political Science Quarterly 118, 4: 627644.
Pérez, Orlando J. 2015. The Impact of Crime on Voter Choice in Latin America. In The Latin American Voter: Pursuing Representation and Accountability in Challenging Contexts, ed. Ryan E. Carlin, Matthew M. Singer, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 324-345.
Pérez, Orlando J. 2016. Putting Lipstick on a Pig: Has the Age of Coups Returned Under a Pro-Democratic Guise? Latin America Goes Global, July 21. https://theglobalamericans.org/2016/07/putting-lipstick-pig-age-coups-returned-pro-democratic-guise
Pérez-Liñán, Aníbal, and Polga-Hecimovich, John. 2017. Explaining Military Coups and Impeachments in Latin America. Democratization 24, 5: 839858.
Pérez-Liñán, Aníbal, and Mainwaring, Scott. 2013. Regime Legacies and Levels of Democracy: Evidence from Latin America. Comparative Politics 45, 4: 379397.
Przeworski, Adam. 2015. Acquiring the Habit of Changing Governments Through Elections. Comparative Political Studies 48, 1: 101129.
Rose, Richard, and Mishler, William. 1996. Testing the Churchill Hypothesis: Popular Support for Democracy and Its Alternatives. Journal of Public Policy 16, 1: 2958.
Rustow, Dankwart. 1970. Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model. Comparative Politics 2, 3 (April): 337363.
Seligson, Amber L. 2002. When Democracies Elect Dictators: Motivations for and Impact of the Election of Former Authoritarians in Argentina and Bolivia. Ph.D. diss., Cornell University.
Seligson, Mitchell A. 2000. Toward a Model of Democratic Stability: Political Culture in Central America. Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe 11, 2: 529.
Seligson, Mitchell A. 2002a. The Impact of Corruption on Regime Legitimacy: A Comparative Study of Four Latin American Countries. Journal of Politics 64, 2: 408433.
Seligson, Mitchell A. 2002b. On the Measurement of Corruption. APSA-CP 13, 2: 56, 30.
Seligson, Mitchell A. 2004. The University of Pittsburgh Latin American Public Opinion Project’s Corruption Victimization Scale. In Global Corruption Report, 2004: Focus—Political Corruption, ed. Transparency International. London: Pluto Press.
Seligson, Mitchell A. 2006. The Measurement and Impact of Corruption Victimization: Survey Evidence from Latin America. World Development 34, 2: 381404.
Seligson, Mitchell A., and Booth, John A.. 2013. Institutional Legitimacy in Central America, 2004–2012. In The Routledge Handbook of Central American Governance, ed. Diego Sánchez-Ancochea and Salvador Martí i. Puig. London: Routledge. 149162.
Singh, Naunihal. 2014. Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Svolik, Milan W. 2015. Which Democracies Will Last? Coups, Incumbent Takeovers, and the Dynamic of Democratic Consolidation. British Journal of Political Science 45, 4: 715738.
Ungar, Mark. 2007. The Privatization of Citizen Security in Latin America: From Elite Guards to Neighborhood Vigilantes. Social Justice 34, 3–4: 2037.
Valenzuela, J. Samuel, and Valenzuela, Arturo, eds. 1986. Military Rule in Chile: Dictatorship and Oppositions. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Zechmeister, Elizabeth. 2018. Should We Be Alarmed That One in Four U.S. Citizens Believes a Military Take-Over Can Be Justifiable? In LAPOP Methodological Note, January. Nashville: LAPOP.
Recommend this journal

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

Latin American Politics and Society
  • ISSN: 1531-426X
  • EISSN: 1548-2456
  • URL: /core/journals/latin-american-politics-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Cassell et al. Dataset
Dataset

 Unknown
PDF
Supplementary materials

Cassell et al. supplementary material
Online Appendices

 PDF (842 KB)
842 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed