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.
Susan Stokes explores why Latin American politicians seeking reelection would impose unpopular policies.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 197-210) and indexes.
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; References.
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