Matthew Rhodes-Purdy: Regime Support in Latin America

Matthew Rhodes-Purdy’s “Beyond the Balance Sheet: Performance, Participation, and Regime Support in Latin America,” appeared in the January 2017 issue of Comparative Politics.

Abstract: This article examines incongruities between policy performance and regime support in Chile and Venezuela. Democratic theory and political psychology suggest that intrinsic characteristics of regime procedures, especially the extent to which those procedures provide citizens with a meaningful political role, can influence support independently of policy outcomes. I find that Chile’s elitist democracy has created an enervated populace, leading to anemic support. Conversely, Venezuela’s provisions for direct participatory opportunities help to legitimate the Bolivarian regime, in spite of its authoritarian tendencies, by encouraging a sense of control and efficacy among its citizens.