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Mandates and Democracy

Mandates and Democracy
Neoliberalism by Surprise in Latin America

$31.99 (P)

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

  • Date Published: August 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521805117

$ 31.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Does it matter when politicians ignore the promises they made and the preferences of their constituents? If politicians want to be reelected or see their party reelected at the end of their term, why would they impose unpopular policies? Susan Stokes explores these questions by developing a model of policy switches and then testing it with statistical and qualitative data from Latin American elections over the past two decades. She concludes that politicians may change policies because unpopular policies are best for constituents and hence also will best serve their own political ambitions.

    • Combines democratic theory with empirical comparative analysis, statistical and qualitative
    • Will be of interest to readers in comparative politics, political theory, and election studies
    • Simply written, accessible to undergraduates
    Read more


    • Co-Winner, 2002 Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize in European Political Sociology, Society of Comparative Research

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This methodologically sophisticated volume is an outstanding contribution to understanding mandate switching, and to theory building on the electoral and policymaking connection. It is well rooted in the contemporary literature on representation, but also in a deep understanding of the philosophical roots of mandate theories in the work of Edmund Burke, James Madison, and John Stuart Mill." Latin American Research Review

    "Mandates and Democracy is a useful book for those concerned with Latin American democratic institutions and political behavior. Stokes's careful use of formal methodology combined with gestaltlich understanding of particular elections is a model that graduate and advanced undergraduate students would do well to emulate." Journal of Politics

    "Stokes's work is impressive for its all-too-rare combination of posing questions inspired by normative theory...Few scholars have a comparable vision and set of tools with which to address the implications for democracy when citizens are deprived of the opportunity to express themselves on the political alternatives available to them. With Mandates and Democracy...Stokes cements her position as one of the leading contemporary scholars of comparative democracy." Political Science Quarterly

    "...nuanced and sophisticated.... Stokes leads scholars toward the analysis of crucial and ideational phenomena and thus breaks new ground for comparative politics." Perspectives on Politics

    "This exceedingly timely volume presents solid scholarship and thus is broadly recommended." Choice

    "Stokes is thus able to classify election campaigns as either efficiency-oriented, that is, in favor of market reforms, or welfare-oriented, that is, against them." Comparative Politics, Andrew Roberts, The Quality of Politics _

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521805117
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 19 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Elections, mandates, and representation
    2. Electoral politics and economic policy in Latin America
    3. Explaining policy switches
    4. Are parties what's wrong with democracy in Latin America?: neoliberalism without mandates: citizens respond
    5. Mandates and democratic theory
    6. Summary, predictions, unsettled questions

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Seminar in the Politics of Latin America
  • Author

    Susan C. Stokes, University of Chicago


    • Co-Winner, 2002 Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize in European Political Sociology, Society of Comparative Research
    • Winner, 2003 Best Book Award, Comparative Democratization Section, American Political Science Association
    • Winner, 2016 George H. Hallett Award, Representation and Electoral Systems Section, American Political Science Association

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