Inclusion-Exclusion Policy Latin American Democracies and Distributive Policies


This essay explores the influence that political participation has in the development of political equality, and the causal relationship between political equality and democracy. The main interest is in the impact of political participation, especially, voter turnout, and distributive social policies in democratic regimes in Latin-America. Voting process and party competition are focused as the main factors in the regime performance. More specifically, high turnout rates are very influential in the regime path and in the policy process. This thesis is well observed in the “first world”.

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de La Rosa, G. (2017) Inclusion-Exclusion Policy Latin American Democracies and Distributive Policies. Open Journal of Political Science, 7, 40-54. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2017.71004.

1. Introduction

This essay explores the influence that political participation has in the development of political equality, and the causal relationship between political equality and democracy. The main interest is in the impact of political participation, especially, voter turnout, and distributive social policies in democratic regimes in Latin-America. Voting process and party competition are focused as the main factors in the regime performance. More specifically, high turnout rates are very influential in the regime path and in the policy process. This thesis is well observed in the “first world”. In the Latin-American republics we are moving from the study of transition politics to the analysis of regimen inclusiveness, and voter turnout is an important variable in the regimen propensity to sustain distributive social policies. As turnout rates are becoming relatively high in most Latin-American countries during the last two decades, and are an intense process of political realignment and coalition formation, the region has becoming a real laboratory of democratic policies.

The background of this exposition is the strikingly contradiction between the fact of actual international policies of concentration of the wealth, and democratic progress. On the democratic wave has advanced a typhoon of poverty and inequality society. For some academicians the impact of this process of exacerbation of the social and economic inequality didn’t have to be cause of concern about the future of democratic consolidation. However, historical experience expresses the opposite: increasingly social inequality precedes profound political changes. The governments can try to stop the social demands, distracting their focus of attention, or they can try punitive policies against protesters; but if democratic regime is a priority for elites and for contenders, the options are more limited and the repression must be excluded. These governments may choose repression and political exclusion, at risk of loosing the legitimacy and efficacy (lack of governance by the side of the supply policy) that is needed to governance. But, by the other side, elites have the alternative to design political inclusionary policies and institution, and they may decide to introduce progressive reform. In sum, the elite’s choices are between an attempt to institutionalize exclusionary policies, at the risk of lost the legitimacy and efficacy, or take the progressive or inclusive route, recurring to distributive social policies. In the first case the bet of the ruling class is high because the high risk of provoke a non-governability condition; by the way, state weakness and paralysis can generate institutional debility and loss of the reactivity to the changes and internal and international challenges. Without legitimacy and without the tribute of political representation can be stagnated into ineffectiveness.

On the other hand, the risk lies in to open the doors to the overwhelmed demands and non-governability by the side of the demand. The financial limits and fiscal resources of each state are critical resources in political choices. These can create in a short time political traps and “bottlenecks” preventing distributive measures; however, in the medium and long time, the elites can construct political alternatives which allow them to avoid these global finance’s traps. If they achieve this, the inclusive policies can be successful and create a virtuous feedback. This essay analyzes the possible trajectory putting emphasis in the importance of the political variables.

The problem is not only of a theoretical and methodological interest. In the contemporary world, the paradox of the globalization is that has opened high expectations of political equality among billions of people, but also has closed old and new opportunities to generate a process of social and economic equality. A recent report of the American Political Science Association (APSA) has described a condition of socio economic inequality, without precedent in human history (APSA, 2008) . The Third Wave of democratization (Huntington dixit) seems wrecked by the tsunami of the social and economic inequality inter and intra nations. As pointed out before, some political scientists minimize the dangers of this tsunami on democratic politics, but they haven´t offered arguments that hold their expectations. In this essay we offer a non-formal model, or mechanism, whereby we try to explain why some democratic regimes, news and olds, choose for reforms to attenuate, and sometimes to reverse successfully, the tsunami of the inequality. Figure 1, elaborated by the economist Branko Milanovic (2005) , shows some important trends in the recent trends of intra and international global economic inequality.

The graphic shows an increase of the inequality in global scale, and shows two measures. The first one refers to simple measure of the coefficient of Gini, and takes in account the national product per capita. It shows an increase of systematic inequality, characteristic of what sociologist call the “modernity era”. The second line shows a different pattern, and is a scale that takes into account on the nationals units, but takes the total population. The international inequality growths quickly and the inequality of incomes of the global population makes it slightly less bad. In 1980, the 1% of the population perceived 236 times the entry the 1% poorer. 20 years later the gap was increased 415 times. The most amazing is that the increase of the entry of the poorest of the world was due to China and India’s economic growth. Disconnecting this countries, the number of poor people (less than a dollar daily of income) increases in almost 699 millions of people. In the same span of time, in Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of people that earns less than one dollar of daily income) increases 40%, from 35.6 millions of people to 49.8 million.

The APSA report (2008) warns on the same process (also Echeverri-Gent, 2009 ). The countries of Latin America are not saved from this trend. Particularly, in the last decade of the last century the distribution of the income got worse, throwing millions of people into the marginality and increased poverty. In Latin-America, this fact is more disturbing because it is articulated with the historical legacy of the bad distribution and social exclusion. Referring to Latin America, an important report begins stating that “In the last 10 years, 10% of the richest area of the population has received, in region average, 37% of the increase. This proportion is almost 3 times that received the 40% poorest (little bit more than 13%)” ( OEA-PNUD, 2010: p. 26 ; also Milanovid, 2005 ).

2. The Black Box of the Democratization

Surprisingly, there is no consensus of the factors that have led to the emergence of the “transition”. For some authors, this may have been driven more by external pressures, instead the force of the natives. The local elites have responded less to the internal demands, which might contain, than the externals. In fact some authors have suggested due to the sparse citizen competence of the voters in Central America and Mexico, the

transition can be explained by the pressures of the foreign policy of the United States. The endogenous democratization (Boix & Stockes, 2003) is the result of local pressures, where the elites face up the dilemma mentioned above of repress and face up one scene of the non-governability, or yield human rights and political progress, in the form of competitive elections, and reasonably high rates of citizen’s political participation.

However, not all the democracies are trapped the institutional inertia. In some countries of Latin America have created some forms of participation and government that are just beginning to be appreciated. These new democracies seem well channeled to maintain stable government and progressive distributional policies. This is like a notorious “anomaly” respect of the central tendency of deterioration of the democratic quality around the world.

During the last ten years of the last century, the distribution of income was deteriorated or was stable in high levels of inequality. The distribution of income is not a direct measure of the politic inequality, but is an approximated indicator. However, is reasonable assume that if the distribution of income maintains a high inequality during long periods of time and/or is associated with a specific group of policies, it will be transformed in a political fact. To assume this mutation of social and economic conditions in political facts, is a central working force behind politics science to under- stand the mechanism of political exclusion and political unrest. Nevertheless, the force of the events has led to recognize that inequality is not only a social and economic phenomenon. The inequality is related with this social discontent, crime and violence, marginality and exclusion. The inequality is not only a temporary, collateral damage of modernization, but is a cancer growing dramatically inside the political body. In view that the problems of inequality are ubiquitous, the governments must have the primary responsibility to promote policies and answers to mitigate and eventually, resolve the most immediate aspects of the extreme poverty and exclusion. This fact can explain the emergence of a new focus about the development at the beginning of this century in South America (OEA-PNUD, 2010) .

3. Before the Dictatorships

Now, is appropriate return to the thesis that the persistent or growing socio economic inequality assaults the democratic stability. Some academicians argue that the growing inequality did not represent a real danger for democracy (Kauffman, 2009) , and that the public policies that try to reduce the poverty very fast can be capture by the radical and populist forces (especially of left), and claim for prudence to respect (Bermeo, 2009) . But, a lot of academicians are convinced that the growing margination and im- poverishment are a main force behind political struggle.

Dominated the liberal reforms in the West Europe nations at the end of the XIX century and in the United States during the New Deal, and even was present in the emergence of the Nazi regime in Germany in the mid-XX century. Depth policies reforms and distributive economic policies has been the historically preferred recipes to avoid the probable disturbing political effects of extreme poverty and the social margi- nality.

However, if the performance of the democracy is less than regular when we are talking about promote distributive policies, the challenge to Latin America is consi- derable (OEA-PNUD, 2010) 1. The types of regime which emerged in the process of transition were far from any ideal or standard of advance and modern democracy. In this times, the expressions of common use are “partial democracies”, “hybrids demo- cracies” (Diamond 2002) and “delegative democracies” (O’Donnell, 1994) to refer to a special case where the Presidentialism is the dominating political force, without the characteristics limitations of horizontal accountability and the division of power characteristic of advanced republics. The social accountability of the public function is an important indicator of democratic “quality”. Fast and low cost access to information, and the fast response to citizen demands, indicates the existence of an institutionalized and autonomous system of political accountability. However, the division of powers and judicial supervision is relatively weak in new democracies. In a general form, the deficits and democratic limits are explaining by three types of causes, and this defects or deficiencies are decisive for the different ranges of capabilities of the political elites to build and advance inclusive social-citizenship-strategies.

The first type was the neoliberalism. Although this explanation can be simplistic, has a moral, and is more accurate to speak in the structural form of integrate the national economy with the global economy. The thesis marks out that the structural links of internal economy with the global economy were reflected in the formation of elites and in the distribution of power at the interior of the political regime. Consequently, one developmental national strategy should be reflected in a more complex-poliarchic- ruling class, and a less oligarchic concentration of political power. By extension, this thesis fits well to a developmental model of democracy. In the opposite direction, the external links (dependence) based on exports of raw materials create an architecture of oligarchic power less apt to democratize. Certainly this theory was resurrected trying to explain the prospects of democracy arising from financial and economic globalization, and elite’s strategic behavior (Traversa-Tejero, 2008; Cimolli & Rovira, 2008) . In the decade of 1990 the expectative were very high and were created a symbiosis between the expectative of democratic opening (transition) and the grade of external opening and liberalization. In the century change, the thesis shows some failures, but helped to revitalize the interest by the explanations of politic economy about the types of imbrications between the international and national markets and the strength of the state regulatory and development agencies. In terms of the democratic theory the biggest problem is that the state institutions often are unable to regulate the market´s activities and avoid the process of capture and politic influence of economical elites in the politic process. Tentatively, an unorthodox compromise with the process of globalization is an indicator of the realistic valuation of the local elites of their chances to play into inclusionary (or exclusionary) political ( democratic) and economic ( distributive) policies or to lose the opportunity (see Cimolli & Rovira, 2008 ).

4. Inclusion and Exclusion Policy

The thesis of this essay is that the design of the electoral systems and formation of electoral coalitions is decisive in the probability of the citizens can make auditable and controllable the political elites by the way of voting. The “economic” vote, which values the results of the outgoing government, is an efficient mechanism, as long as exists elective options. In some cases, contrary to the “political apathy” and low historical rates of voting, indicates a low systemic legitimacy, low representativeness and low trust in the regime and ruling class. High rates of turnout can show the opposite. But also of these indicators it is necessary the existence a real partisan competence able to be perceived like a fight between real alternatives or political offers by the electorate. The multiparty electoral competition can be an indicator of this situation, or not, depending on if the parties involved represent programmatic alternatives, visible to the electorate2. The chart 1 shows a strong association between the number of parties and rate of voting in a select number of Latin-American countries.

5. The Vote

Although in the region has flourished in the study of the electoral processes and the behavior of the Latin-American voter, there is a long way to go. The most difficult step is the lack of coherent and reliable data bases. In second place the investigations had oriented their interest about the support and stability of the news democratic regimes; the studies of Pérez Liñán, Altman, Zovatto, etc. had been very useful to understand the profile of Latin American electorate and their ideological and practical motivations to vote. Also, voting behavior has been examined to explain the called ascension of the “left” (Murillo, Oliveros, & Vaishnav, 2010) .

Until recently, many observers believed that Latin American citizens were “different” to western people (Fornos, Power, & Garand, 2004) . Cordova and Seligson have offered detailed quantitative studies showing that the socioeconomic and culture identity have a similar influence on the voters choices of Central America and the rest of the world, reaffirming a conviction on the rationality of the Latin-American voter (2009)3. These studies are important because allows to extend the scope of investigation beyond the description and statistic conjecture to the causal analysis in the impact of the vote in the performance of the regime and especially in perseverance of the social distributive politics. From the fact that the electoral participation rate grows in the area, the idea that Latin America is a place of citizen apathy begins to collapse. The confidence in the electoral system and the perception that the parties are legitimate options of representation show an advance in-between the citizenship specially in countries where political competitiveness is well established. However, the available sources are elusive and not consistent, and, in many cases, suspicious of distortion. The other indicator is stability in the multiparty systems (Alcántara & Freidemberg, 2001) .

The explanation of this tendency is the increase the participation rate (with the exception of Mexico and Colombia), that has been attributed to several causes, including the called mandatory or compulsory rules. However, there is no conclusive evidence that the compulsive voting schemes are decisive (Zovatto, 2006) 4. The weak enforcement mechanisms prevalent in Latin America make impossible determinate the weight of compulsory voting system. Brazil and Mexico have compulsory vote systems, but a very contrasting turnout rates. Although in Latin America these schemes are disseminated, the “compulsivity” is lax or “only in paper”. In Brazil has been reported that the impact is less and is focus in the sectors of medium incomes and medium-low, but doesn’t reach the most marginalized sectors (Power, 2009) .

Another explanation resides in the credibility of the electoral processes. Latin barometer emphasizes the perception of confidence in the democratic competition in the region (Latinobarometer, 2010) . Barrientos del Campo (2011) has find that the electoral systems don’t derive their efficacy from the size of the resources to their disposition. This author finds that the economical electoral systems are working better than the expensive systems like the Mexican. Other thesis is derived of an observation of Eveline Huber and their colleges (2006; 2008) which the absence of an alternative of a leftist coalition, in the second part of the XX century, explain the weakness of the distributive systems of the region. Huber suggests that cost of collective action (for example, due to the risk of repression) is responsible of this weakness. Inequality has been related to violent crime rates (Fanjzylber, Lederman, & Loayza, 2002) 5.

This thesis has been taken up by Mahler (2008) and Franzese (2001; also Finseraas, 2007; Debs & Helmke, 2008 ) to support the median voter thesis. The turnout rate is an explanatory variable of distributive policies. Using turnout rates as de independent variable, distributive policies are dependent of the levels of turnout. A high rate of abstention shows the exclusion of poor sectors of the population and excludes of voting to the marginalized sectors. The argument was mentioned by Liphart (1997) , and was replicated for Latin America for Carreras and Castañeda Angarica (2012) . But in general the more conventional political science has considered the apathy of citizens as a stabilization element of democratic regime. Figure 2 and Figure 3 show some significative tendencies in the voting of selected countries.

The democratic tramps that blocked distributive demands are well studied in a theoretical level by theories of rational or social election, but less well replicated at the field level. Vote is the cheaper individual way where the most people must participate in politics or electoral processes. Compulsory vote systems are the remedy for this passivity or apathy, if exists the expectative that the vote must be efficacious to promote representation of pooled demands of common people. If does not exist a system of parties that offer a political platform and an effective political performance, is very probable that common people will be absent at the ballot boxes. The obligatory voting systems (Zovatto, 2003) did not resolve the problem of efficiency of vote, if there are not supply

Figure 2. Electoral turnout in Presidential elecctions 1990-2007 Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, México, Venezuela. Source: Author, whit data from www.idea 1.

Figure 3. Latin America Performance Legislative Parties/turnover in presidential elections, 2000-2005.

6. Democratic Progress

The different coalitions of left that have won successive elections electoral are a novelty and in many ways different to the conventional images of electoral democracy. Bolivia is set by a coalition of ethnic claims of justice and voices more traditional socialists, but is governed according to interests of the Bolivian multi ethic state. The same occurred in Brazil and Argentina. Their leftism resides in: a) the formation of their bases and, b) the compromises distributives of social policies. The challenging political coalitions also have a sense of changing geopolitical reality. But in all the cases, their rise and success depends on the construction of two conditions. The new partisan coalitions and the rules of electoral political game have encouraged the competence and the assistance to the polls.

When the rate of voting is high, the perception of economic crisis or the perception of chances of success of an alternative to neoliberal policies is the principal factor in electoral success of leftist parties and leftist coalitions. The “economic vote” has been identified as principal factor which impulse the leftist vote ( Murillo et al., 2010). However, economic stagnation is not sufficient to induce the economic vote. Generally, is accepted that a long history of respect to human rights must be the first requirement for a high political and electoral participation. The principal institutional channels for the politic participation are a system of parties and an electoral system. The health of both is decisive to give certain support to the theory of economic vote. Without these institutional channels, the economic vote dissipates in the middle of political deception even though there are rules as the obligatory voting system. That reason can explain why the thesis economic vote didn’t fix in some electoral experiences as the Mexican case. However, under conditions of a fair play, in a competitive and open system, the elections become in an extensive and effective accountability mechanism.

The apparent success of “leftist” governments is notorious. Figure 4, elaborated by the economist Nora Lusting (2010) , shows the changes in the distribution of incomes for the middle of the first decade of the century, using a typology very simple but efficient of public policies.

The “left” governs had better economic results as those that used orthodox policies. The explanation is not only economic; on the contrary, the macroeconomic policies appear as a dependent variable of political-institutional variables. Contrary what happens in a dictatorship, where the exclusion of policy and non-accountability are the rule, in a democratic environment the representation-electoral participation in a field of plural partisan competition―and responsibility―efficiency of the public policies, accountability, and punishment of infraction of public officials―work as a positive force to the economy.

The economic policies between countries of Latin America tend to be different. At the end of the XX century was common to include all the adjustment policies of the neoliberal agenda (Cohen & Centeno, 2006) . However, beginning the XX century, some regional states disability began to be important. A simple classification may include tree types of orientations: orthodox, anti-inflationary and of macroeconomic stabilization, represent by Mexico, Colombia and Chile, respectively; on the other side, is a macro- economically non-orthodox, promotion of internal market and external diversification, as Brazil, and Argentina; or the populist way, with an economy based in the mono- exportation, as Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador. The first two types can be considerate as more developed economies, but with very different priorities in regard to public policies. The second one is more successful than the first one, because works to face better the ups and downs of economic global cycles, due to the flexibility of their links and their resource of domestic consumption. The growth of the economy can be interpreted as a function of a best political performance (best competitive party’s system, best electoral procedures and less cost of collective action). This virtuous circle is completed by a higher government commitment for the social welfare. The size of the budget is an indicator of this statement. The same can be said by the social spending per capita. Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay lead the list of higher compro- mise with the social welfare (without Cuba), followed by Mexico, Chile and Col.

As Table 1 shows the recent tendencies in social spending, relatives to annual size of economy and to annual investments per capita. There is no a surprise that the called leftist governs maintains the higher commitments to the social spending. In recently years the financing of social issues has been precarious and unstable; especially because is linked to external resources and economic activities because they had suffered the

Figure 4. Electoral turnout in Presidential elecctions 1990-2007, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, México, Venezuela.

Table 1. Latin America. Costs of votes cast (in dollars).

Source: International foundation for electoral systems, p. 69.

ups and downs of the rolling coaster of Latin American economies, governmental budgets have suffered several cuts. The social budgets would improve if the fiscal base of increases of governs were more solid (OEA-PNUD, 2010) .

Another difference is if the financing of social budgets is associated to the rents of primary exports, or higher levels of taxes to the consumers and the income of individuals and corporations. In Latin America this base was small compared with the countries of OCDE. So, the increase of fiscal resources through progressive policies of collection is an imperative (OEA-PNUD, 2010) . Is realistic forward the conjecture that the sustainability of an expanded tax base.

The third aspect is related with the financial impact of social welfare in the focused population. The characteristics of welfare policies are related with political and institutional networks. However, the politic dependence of a social program is more intense in “populist” countries and in countries with a weak accountability system, like in Mexico. The policy of clientelism also is affected by the weakness of rendition of accounts local and regional. By example, In Brazil the centralization of social programs not only helped the presidential power, also the efficiency of the programs. In Mexico the growing role of the governors, exempt from efficient public accountability, has generated a set of ineffective social policies, and a more pronounced use of public resources for electoral purposes. Contrary, the evidence indicates that political inter- mediaries encourage the loss of horizontal and vertical transparence in the electoral use of public resources. In Brazil, the executive manage directly the social policies (Educational grants, etc.) reducing the participation of governors and local caciques managing to decrease the corruption. Having a competitor or more, and knowing the citizenship that the programs form part of party platforms, the strategic or economic vote it will works (Traversa-Tejero, 2008; CEPAL, 2010; Fornos, Guerrero, & Walton 2006; Huber, 2006; Huber et al., 2008; Power, 2009; OEA-PNUD, 2010; Murillo, 2010; Bohn, 2011) .

The apparent success of the leftist governs in South America is remarkable, but depends on the consolidation of the public distributive policies. The ability to create a political coalition capable of encourage the extension of a progressive tax base (OEA-PNUD, 2010) , and the “democratization” of the clientelistic welfare policies represent a big challenge for all the countries in Latin America. By the way, the populist policies that depend on primary goods resources and subsidiary policies must be an auto limited alternative. The principal point of interest to the political scientists is that both sides of the game of the consolidation process, the supply side of the fiscal and social policies, and the demand side channeled by voting, are both dependents of political and institutional variables. If the status quo is a counterproductive position that requires that political institutions provide a low cost channel for the collective action of citizens, in the sense that less fear to repression, then, there are an increase of the probabilities of participation and legitimacy.

7. The Immediate Future

The relation between the electoral participation and the emergence of distributive policies was stigmatized in the seventy years as cause of the overloading democracies. The ideological arguments were attached with the insights of social election theory, to warn that an intense participation damages the democratic stability. In the era of financial globalization and financial deregulation is a golden rule, the viability of democracy is at stage. As in the past, social expenditure was the first victim of economic adjustment and spending cuts. Therefore, social spending can hardly be the sole basis of a distribution policy. And it’s a complementary aspect of economic, social and comprehensive policies, however, government welfare policies differ across the region. Overall, welfare policies can be analyzed from two perspectives. On the supply side, are dependent on the continuity and extent of government resources, and its focus on the poor or marginalized people. Many governments use spending as clientelistic mechanisms. The mechanism is affected by electoral competitiveness. Electoral competition under fair rules can be a very effective mechanism of accountability and control of patronage-authoritarian distribution mechanism (Huber, Pribble, & Stephen, 2006; Huber, Mustillo, & Stephens, 2008; Murillo et al., 2010) . Future research should compare the mechanism of patronage between different political democracies in Latin America, but the provisional thesis here is that the factor “left government” is an indicator of democratic consolidation. In the same direction, on the demand side should be taken into account the “reception” of grants and funds in the population. An interesting way to be introduced the variables was suggested by Charles Tilly (2007) . Autonomy, trust networks, the capacities of self-management and social capital allows communities to participate as active citizens.

8. Conclusion

This paper presents a work in progress, and three basic hypothesis will be worked in deep: 1) the real impact of “compulsory” voting schemes on the size and social distribution of turnout (age, gender, income per capote, income per capita and distribution of income, education, place of residence; 2) the cost of opportunity for potential voters and for contending parties ( the “fear factor”); 3) the real impact of the size of turnout and its distribution across the competitive parties in the design of public policies, especially “distributive” policies; 4) the sustainability and efficiency of distributive policies. The primary proposal of this research is not to look inside the motives of voters in a series of electoral struggles, but the weight of the numbers of voters, as the percentage of registered voters v. real voters, in the performance of democratic politics and policies. In many aspects, Latin American democracies are not different to older democracies in the characteristics of voters, but it is exception in the success of leftist parties in the electoral struggles. Because the growing strength of these contenders, governments are trying to implement “infrastructural” power generating “including” social policies, in many ways, taking a way opposite to the European and USA democracies. Until here, the paper offers more questions than answers. The most important is the theoretical thesis that relates economic inequality to political inequality. The causal arrows between both concepts must be addressed and tested in better ways in the future, not only for the Latin American socio space but for the global arena. As many neo institutionalist theories minimize the socio economic dimensions of democracy, and fail to understand the basic mechanism of political inequality into the same democratic framework, the theory of democratic tramps can fill some theoretical gaps in the analysis of modern democratic process. The existence of democratic tramps is an open theoretical and empirical field of research. Auspiciously, during the recent years, a growing research efforts has been done on the critical links between political equality and socio economic inequality. Most of central theoretical questions are not new, but formulated five decades ago, and these were centered on the democracy’ mechanism of social choice. The new wave of research is focused on very concrete theoretical and empirical problems, related to the Democracy Gordian knots of social exclusion and impoverishment. The paradoxes between an emergent demand of political equality and the trends of socio economic inequality offers a urgent need of better understanding of the democratic mechanisms of citizen inclusion―or exclusion.


1By example, the democracies of Europe have a Gini coefficient much lower, but an average income higher than in Latin America.

2Polarization and competitiviness between parties, and vote and abstention are the two strategic aspects in the explanation of the inclusiveness of regime. The politic science can work much more in focus and compared methodologies about this processes. Our hypothesis is that the “initial condition” of creation of both process, is decisive in the trajectory of the democratic politics.

3A recently published study of Carreras and CastañedaAngarica (2012) , find a significant influence of socio- economic and educational citizen status and the probability to vote.

4However, Maldonado (2011) report a turnouts rate of 76.8% in countries with compulsory schemes and 70.9% in non-compulsory.

5The selective politic repression (about leadership and freedoms of association and political union, and over the perception of public safety) can cause these were disjointed after be present to the electoral combat. So the internal politic violence is a variable that cannot be excluded of the analysis of the quality of democracy neither of electoral processes. Even though the study of the OEA-PNUD (2010) warns this, there are very scarce the comparative studies. A study about the effect of the violence in the increase of electoral abstention in most affected places by the war against the drug trafficking in Mexico, respectively, the coordinated by Padilla Delgado (2010) ; on Colombia, Holmes and Gutiérrez de Piñeres (2012) .

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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