Latin American Political Culture: Public Opinion and Democracy presents a genuinely pan-Latin American examination of the region’s contemporary political culture. This is the only book to extensively investigate the attitudes and behaviors of Latin Americans based on the Latin American Public Opinion Project’s (LAPOP) AmericasBarometer surveys. Through its analysis of data on eighteen countries, the book systematically and comparatively evaluates norms, attitudes, and opinions concerning democracy and its consolidation. Beginning with an introduction of political culture and its scholarship, it examines democratic and authoritarian norms, explores how citizens relate to the political world, and considers implications for democratic stability. It then examines key behavioral outcomes in politics, such as in attitudes toward gays and fear of crime, and how political culture changes over time. Case studies highlight how these factors come together in particular cases. The findings reveal a complex Latin America with distinct political cultures. This book joins rigorous analysis with clear graphic presentation and extensive examples. Readers learn about public opinion research, engage with further questions for analysis, and have access to data, an expansive bibliography, and links to appendices.
Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Latin American Political Culture and Democracy: Introduction
Part II: A Survey of Latin American Political Cultural Norms
Chapter 2: Do Latin Americans Support Democracy?
Chapter 3: Do Latin Americans Reject Authoritarian Norms?
Chapter 4: Views of Government and the Political System
Chapter 5: Demand for Democracy and Evaluation of Government’s Institutions
Part III: Critical Issues of Latin American Political Culture
Chapter 6: Civic and Political Participation
Chapter 7: Innate Characteristics and Political Culture: Gender, Age, Race, and Ethnicity
Chapter 8: Acquired Cleavages and Political Culture
Chapter 9: Dynamic Factors and Political Culture
Part IV: Conclusions About Latin American Political Culture
Chapter 10: Conclusions: Consolidating Democratic Culture