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Full-Text Articles in Comparative Politics

The 2014 Presidential And Legislative Elections In Bolivia, Miguel Centellas Dec 2014

The 2014 Presidential And Legislative Elections In Bolivia, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

No abstract provided.


Candidate Selection In Bolivia’S Mixed-Member System: Determinants Of Candidate Selection In Bolivia’S 1993 And 1997 Legislative Elections, Miguel Centellas May 2014

Candidate Selection In Bolivia’S Mixed-Member System: Determinants Of Candidate Selection In Bolivia’S 1993 And 1997 Legislative Elections, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

Mixed-member electoral systems became a popular choice for “electoral engineers” in the 1990s. Countries as diverse as Venezuela, Hungary, Lesotho, and Italy adopted the system. The assumption was that introducing single-member districts (SMDs) in countries that used list proportional representation electoral systems would introduce “constituency” oriented legislators who could be more easily held accountable to voters. This paper explores any changes associated with the adoption of a mixed-member electoral system in Bolivia. It does so through a candidate-level analysis looking at differences in candidate profiles between two elections (1993 and 1997) and between two tiers (list and nominal) in the ...


Legislative Turnover And Institutional Reforms: Evidence From The Bolivian Case, Miguel Centellas Aug 2013

Legislative Turnover And Institutional Reforms: Evidence From The Bolivian Case, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

Despite increased attention to Latin American legislatures, we know little about legislative candidate selection—particularly in countries that underwent institutional reforms. This paper analyzes candidate selection in Bolivia’s lower legislative chamber using database of candidate & legislator biographical data. Bolivia is an interesting case because it significantly altered its electoral system (from list-PR to MMP). Using legislative candidate biographical data (winners and losers), the paper observes effects in changes in candidate recruitment across pre- and post-reform periods. In addition to common indicators (age, gender, professional association, etc.), the paper focuses on three key candidate dimensions: “localness” (connection to electoral district ...


Reforming The Judiciary By Election: Assessing The Role Of Candidate Demographics In Bolivia’S 2011 Judicial Elections, Miguel Centellas, Laura Suaznabar Jun 2013

Reforming The Judiciary By Election: Assessing The Role Of Candidate Demographics In Bolivia’S 2011 Judicial Elections, Miguel Centellas, Laura Suaznabar

Miguel Centellas

Since 2005 election of Evo Morales, Bolivia has been undergoing an unprecedented process of reforms aimed at increasing citizens’ direct access to political power. Among the reforms is the 2011 direct election of high court justices—a first among contemporary democracies. This paper analyzes the results of that unique election. Unlike partisan elections, candidates (who were pre-selected by the legislature) were not allowed to campaign and media coverage of candidates was highly restricted. Instead, the country’s electoral organ was charged with disseminating information about the candidates as part of its mission to educate voters about the judicial elections. Lower-than-average ...


The Democracy Cluster Classification Index, Mihaiela R. Gugiu, Miguel Centellas May 2013

The Democracy Cluster Classification Index, Mihaiela R. Gugiu, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

Using hierarchical cluster analysis, a new measure of democracy, the DCC index, is proposed and constructed from five popular indices of democracy (Freedom House, Polity IV, Vanhanen's index of democratization, Cheibub et al.'s index of democracy and dictatorship, and the Cingranelli-Richards index of electoral self-determination). The DCC was used to classify the regime types for twenty-four countries in the Americas and thirty-nine countries in Europe over a thirty-year period. The results indicated that democracy is a latent class variable. Sensitivity and specificity analyses were conducted for the five existing democracy indices as well as the newly proposed Unified ...


“Somos Autonomistas De Siempre”: Public University Politics And The Negotiation Of Autonomy In Bolivia, Miguel Centellas, Katherine M. Centellas Jan 2013

“Somos Autonomistas De Siempre”: Public University Politics And The Negotiation Of Autonomy In Bolivia, Miguel Centellas, Katherine M. Centellas

Miguel Centellas

This paper analyzes the contentious April 2010 public university elections for Rector and Vice Rector at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) in Bolivia. University elections are especially politically significant in countries like Bolivia, in which public universities have constitutionally protected autonomy and have often served as bastions of political opposition. Using quantitative and qualitative techniques, we describe and analyze how Bolivia’s university elections interact with national and subnational politics. Looking at the three most recent rectorate elections (2004, 2007, 2010), we measure electoral volatility, party system stability, and partisan alignments within university elections. We combine this with ...


“We’Re Off To Replace The Wizard”: Lessons From A Collaborative Group Project Assignment, Miguel Centellas, Gregory J. Love Jul 2012

“We’Re Off To Replace The Wizard”: Lessons From A Collaborative Group Project Assignment, Miguel Centellas, Gregory J. Love

Miguel Centellas

This article examines the effectiveness of a collaborative group learning project for teaching a core competency in comparative politics: constitutional structures. We use a quasi-experimental design and propensity score matching to assess the value of a consti- tutional writing group project and presentation. The results provide strong evidence that these learning tools are highly valuable for teaching abstract concepts. Students who par- ticipated in the project scored significantly higher on a short series of questions in final exams given several weeks after the completion of the group project. Somewhat paradox- ically, the project increased competency but did not affect student ...


Party System Dynamics In Bolivia: Regionalized Party Politics In A Devolving State, Miguel Centellas May 2012

Party System Dynamics In Bolivia: Regionalized Party Politics In A Devolving State, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

In 2009, Bolivia adopted a new constitution that grants significant political autonomy to the country’s nine departments. The creation of nine autonomous departmental governments with elected executives (governors) and legislatures (departmental assemblies) represents a radical departure from the traditional unitary state model. This raises a number of empirical and theoretical questions about the relationship between national- and department-level institutions in the context of a devolving and democratizing state—particularly one with a hegemonic government party facing regionally concentrated opposition. This paper is a preliminary, and primarily descriptive, exploration of how parties in decentralized, devolved, or “federalized” states operate simultaneously ...


The Santa Cruz Autonomía Movement: Preliminary Considerations On A Case Of Non-Indigenous Ethnic Popular Mobilization, Miguel Centellas Sep 2010

The Santa Cruz Autonomía Movement: Preliminary Considerations On A Case Of Non-Indigenous Ethnic Popular Mobilization, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

This paper discusses the recent autonomy movement in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, within a theoretical framework typically reserved for “ethnic” political or social movements. The paper begins with a brief chronology of the Santa Cruz autonomía movement as it developed into a powerful political oppositional movement during the rise of Evo Morales. In doing so, the movement’s leaders consciously adopted the organizational tactics and forms of discourse typically identified with traditional, indigenous-popular Bolivian social movements. As such, the Santa Cruz case both highlights the fluidity of multiculturalism and challenges our notions of how ethnic identity is publicly constructed.


Savina Cuéllar And Bolivia's New Regionalism, Miguel Centellas Jul 2010

Savina Cuéllar And Bolivia's New Regionalism, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

The social forces that brought Evo Morales to power reshaped the dynamics of politics in Bolivia. Although partly driven by ethnic or socioeconomic differences, regional move- ments have support beyond a narrow elite base and reflect changes in Bolivia’s political landscape stemming from 1990s political reforms, older historical legacies, and recent political developments. The June 2008 election of Savina Cuéllar, an indigenous woman, as prefect of Chuquisaca highlights the complex and evolving nature of political identi- ties. Identities constructed on the basis of regional claims are as important as—and analytically distinct from—identities constructed on the basis of ...


Pop Culture In The Classroom: American Idol, Karl Marx, And Alexis De Tocqueville, Miguel Centellas Jul 2010

Pop Culture In The Classroom: American Idol, Karl Marx, And Alexis De Tocqueville, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

This article discusses the use of pop culture in the classroom as a means to teach foundational political science authors and concepts. I focus on my experience using Amer- ican Idol as a point of reference to discuss Marx and Engel’s The Communist Manifesto and Tocqueville’s Democracy in America in undergraduate comparative politics courses. Stu- dents are asked to construct a written argument projecting Marx or Tocqueville’s percep- tions of American Idol, based on their readings. My experiences demonstrate that asking students to reflect on their own contemporary experience through the prism of these two works helps ...


The 2009 Presidential And Legislative Elections In Bolivia, Alexandra Alpert, Miguel Centellas, Matthew M. Singer Jan 2010

The 2009 Presidential And Legislative Elections In Bolivia, Alexandra Alpert, Miguel Centellas, Matthew M. Singer

Miguel Centellas

No abstract provided.


Bolivia's Radical Decentralization, Miguel Centellas Jan 2010

Bolivia's Radical Decentralization, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

No abstract provided.


The Political Economy Of Bolivia’S New Regionalism: A Look At Electoral Patterns In Santa Cruz, Tarija, And Chuquisaca, Miguel Centellas, Miguel A. Buitrago May 2009

The Political Economy Of Bolivia’S New Regionalism: A Look At Electoral Patterns In Santa Cruz, Tarija, And Chuquisaca, Miguel Centellas, Miguel A. Buitrago

Miguel Centellas

While most conventional accounts assume an economic motivation behind the new regional autonomy movements, such claims have not been systematically tested. In this paper, we test the link between electoral support for Evo Morales and regional autonomy to socioeconomic and demographic indicators at the municipal level. Our cases include the three gas-producing departments of Santa Cruz, Tarija, and Chuquisaca. Our unit of observation is the municipality, for a total of 95 units. We look at eight elections, taking place at five distinct moments, between December 2005 and January 2009. We test whether voting districts with higher levels of socioeconomic indicators ...


Electoral Reform, Regional Cleavages, And Party System Stability In Bolivia, Miguel Centellas Jan 2009

Electoral Reform, Regional Cleavages, And Party System Stability In Bolivia, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

This research note considers the effects of electoral system reform in Bolivia. In 1995, Bolivia moved from a list-proportional to a mixed- member proportional electoral system. The intervening years saw growing regional polarization of politics and a collapse of the existing party system. Using statistical analysis of disaggregated electoral data (at department, municipality, and district level), this paper tests whether electoral system re- forms may have contributed to the current political crisis. Research findings show that regional cleavages existed prior to electoral system reform, but suggest that reforms aggravated their effects. Such evidence gives reason to question the recent popularity ...


From 'Parliamentarized' To 'Pure' Presidentialism: Bolivia After October 2003, Miguel Centellas Oct 2008

From 'Parliamentarized' To 'Pure' Presidentialism: Bolivia After October 2003, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

Among the many shifts in Bolivian politics since October 2003 is a subtle, yet significant change in the country's presidential system. Bolivia has recently transitioned from "parliamentarized" to a "pure" presidentism. In the previous system (1985-2002), Bolivian presidents were chosen by the legislature and led multiparty coalition governments. Since October 2003, Bolivia has instead been governed by two independent chief executives. This paper discusses the shift in presidential behavior by analyzing the similarities between Carlos Mesa and Evo Morales—who also fit the the description of "delegate democrats" or "populists"—and their consequences for democratic stability (the lack of ...


Bolivia's Party System After October 2003: Where Did All The Politicians Go?, Miguel Centellas Aug 2008

Bolivia's Party System After October 2003: Where Did All The Politicians Go?, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

Bolivia’s political system has recently undergone a dramatic transformation after nearly two decades dominated by three “systemic” parties (MNR, ADN, MIR). Despite resisting challenges from “outsiders” (whether populists, leftists, or indigenous movements) for nearly two decades, the party system was quickly swept away after the “gas war” of October 2003. In its place, the new political landscape appears polarized into two distinct camps: Evo Morales’s MAS and an opposition led by PODEMOS. This paper offers a preliminary exploratory look at Bolivia’s most recent political transformation, looking particularly at the migration patterns of Bolivian career politicians between the ...


Democracy On Stilts: Bolivia's Democracy From Stability To Crisis, Miguel Centellas Apr 2007

Democracy On Stilts: Bolivia's Democracy From Stability To Crisis, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

Bolivia’s recent political crisis starkly contrasts to the preceding two decades of relative democratic stability. Though a unique system of “parliamentarized” presidentialism together with lingering consensus on the national project inherited from the 1952 Revolution supported democratic stability, using qualitative and quantitative methods, this study shows that seemingly benign changes in institutional design made in the 1990s contributed to the acceleration of already existing tendencies towards divisive sectoral, regional, and ethnic politics. A key observation is that successful long-term democratization requires institutions for adequately channeling and representing social demands as well as a shared vision of a political “imagined ...


Decentralization And Democratization In Bolivia, Miguel Centellas Mar 2000

Decentralization And Democratization In Bolivia, Miguel Centellas

Miguel Centellas

Bolivia’s decentralization under the 1994 Ley de Participación Popular (LPP) cannot be characterized as federalism or administrative decentralization. The Bolivian model demonstrates the importance of ideological discourse and the role of decentralization in democratization. The ideological and historical roots of Bolivia’s state decentralization explain its divergence from other decentralization strategies. Bolivia’s LPP includes citi-zen-initiated Organizaciones Territoriales de Base (OTB) which provide communal democratic control over municipal governments. This unique strategy makes Bolivia a possible case for emulation among other decentralizing (and democratizing) regimes.