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Mainwaring and Scully's concept of party system institutionalization (PSI) has greatly influenced the literature on parties and party systems. This article contributes to the “revisionist” literature on PSI by exploring the recent evolution of the concept's four dimensions in Chile. It finds that the Chilean party system is not homogenously institutionalized (as conventionally argued) but is simultaneously frozen at the elite level and increasingly disconnected from civil society. In this regard, it approaches some recent descriptions of the Brazilian party system, a prototypical example of an “inchoate” party system that has gained stability over time without developing roots in society. This article argues that the current operationalization of the concept of PSI is problematic. Not only should all four dimensions of the concept be simultaneously measured, probably through multiple indicators for each one, but their trends across time and space should also be better integrated into the concept's theoretical structure.
This article investigates the impact of trade-based social clauses on labor rights enforcement. Drawing on insights from recent theoretical work on transnational advocacy networks and labor rights, the study examines how transnational groups and domestic actors engage the labor rights mechanisms under the NAFTA labor side agreement, the NAALC. A statistical analysis of original data drawn from NAALC cases complements interviews with key participants to analyze the factors that predict whether the three national mediation offices review labor dispute petitions. This study suggests that transnational activism is a key factor in explaining petition acceptance. Transnational advocates craft petitions differently from other groups and, by including worker testimony in the petitions, signal to arbitration bodies the possibility of corroborating claims through contact with affected workers.
As indigenous movements around the world seek to strengthen their collective voice in their respective political systems, efforts continue to design political institutions that offer both sufficient local autonomy and incentives to participate in the broader political system. The state of Oaxaca, Mexico, offers a test case of one such effort at indigenous-based institutional design. This article argues that such reforms often fail to confront the tension between local autonomy and citizen engagement in politics outside the borders of the community. Testing this theory through a comparative analysis of voter turnout rates in municipalities across the state of Oaxaca and the neighboring state of Guerrero, this study finds that the adoption of indigenous institutions at the local level is associated with significantly lower voter turnout rates for national elections.
This article advances the idea that coalition formation and maintenance in highly fragmented presidential regimes is not only crucial to overcoming policy deadlock, but in some cases, critical to ensuring government survival. To advance this argument, the article looks at the formation and demise of legislative coalitions in Ecuador between 1979 and 2006. The empirical data suggest that paradoxically, government coalitions became more difficult to sustain after the adoption of institutional reforms intended to strengthen the president's legislative powers. The adoption of those reforms, it is argued, undermined the legislative incentives to cooperate with the government and helped to accelerate coalition erosion. Not only did the reforms fail significantly to avoid policy deadlock, but in some cases they contributed to the early termination of presidential mandates. This article contributes to the study of coalition survival and how it is linked to policymaking.
Latin America is a region of sharp ethnic inequalities. Uruguay has usually been considered an exception to this pattern, although no data were available to confirm this assumption until recently. This article uses the Household Survey of 2006 to analyze the wage gap between Afro-descendants and whites through OLS equations, decompositions, and quantile regressions. The analysis finds that discrimination explains approximately 50 percent of the racial wage gap for men and 20 percent for women. Discrimination operates partly through occupational segregation. Differences in schooling are the most important explanatory factor for the rest of the gap. Quantile regressions show that discrimination declines across percentiles for men.