The Legitimacy Puzzle in Latin America: Political Support by John A. Booth

By John A. Booth

Political scientists for greater than 20 years have fearful approximately declining degrees of electorate' aid for his or her regimes (legitimacy), yet have did not empirically hyperlink this decline to the survival or breakdown of democracy. This obvious paradox is the "legitimacy puzzle," which this publication addresses through reading political legitimacy's constitution, resources, and results. With exhaustive empirical research of top quality survey information from 8 Latin American international locations, it confirms that legitimacy exists as a number of, exact dimensions. It reveals that one's place in society, schooling, wisdom, details, and stories form legitimacy norms. opposite to expectancies, even though, voters who're unsatisfied with their government's functionality don't drop out of politics or lodge in general to destabilizing protest. really, the disaffected electorate of those Latin American democracies take part at excessive premiums in traditional politics and in such replacement arenas as communal development and civil society. And regardless of regime functionality difficulties, citizen aid for democracy is still excessive. those findings get to the bottom of the puzzle - citizen activities and values, even one of the disaffected, most probably advance instead of weaken democratic governments.

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19 The 1998 election in particular shocked Costa Ricans and political observers accustomed to consistently higher voting rates and raised the question of whether the change was transitory or more fundamental. The possible transitory factors were another sharp economic crisis (1995–97), election campaign–related scandals, and media coverage stressing popular frustration. Fundamental shifts were hypothesized, such as a profound decline in institutional legitimacy. To test these competing explanations, Seligson (2002d) used the Political Support-Alienation Scale, which had been widely tested in Germany, the United States, Israel, and Latin America (Muller 1979; Caspi and Seligson 1983; Seligson 1983; Booth and Seligson 1984; Seligson and Muller 1987; Booth and Seligson 1994).

The metropolitan sample was further stratified into three socioeconomic zones: high, medium, and low. Within each stratum there was a two-stage selection process. The first stage consisted of selecting census segments from the 2000 national census, using PPS techniques, and within each segment a cluster of eight households was designated. The second stage, at the household, followed the sampling procedures suggested by Sudman (1966). The resulting sample totaled 1,016 cases and was weighted to reflect the actual distribution of the population as provided by the 2000 census.

We also later analyzed (previously unpublished) survey results collected after the 2002 election in which Costa Rican voter turnout declined slightly to 69 percent. The 2002 findings confirm those from the 1999 survey that very critical (low supporting) Costa Ricans voted at sharply lower rates. a pilot research project: the 2002 survey These findings and the further decline in Costa Rican turnout in the 2002 and 2006 elections strongly suggest that Costa Rica was experiencing a dynamic participation shift driven by declining system support of the sort that largely 21 22 Municipal elections since have been separated from national elections.

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