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Voice and inequality : poverty and political participation in Latin American democracies

Voice and inequality : poverty and political participation in Latin American democracies / Carew Boulding and Claudio Holzner.
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2021]
Physical Description
xii, 244 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
"How do poor people in Latin America participate in politics? What explains the variation in the patterns of voting, protesting, and contacting government for the region's poorest citizens? Why are participation gaps larger in some countries than in others? This book offers the first large scale empirical analysis of political participation in Latin America, focusing on patterns of participation among the poorest citizens in each country, and comparing those patterns to those of individuals with more resources. Far from being politically inert, under certain conditions the poorest citizens in Latin America can act and speak for themselves with an intensity that far exceeds their modest socioeconomic resources. We argue that key institutions of democracy, namely civil society, political parties, and competitive elections, have an enormous impact on whether or not poor people turn out to vote, protest, and contact government officials. When voluntary organizations thrive in poor communities and when political parties focus their mobilization efforts on poor individuals, they respond with high levels of political activism. Poor people's activism also benefits from strong parties, robust electoral competition and well-functioning democratic institutions. Where electoral competition is robust and where the power of incumbents is constrained, we see higher levels of participation by poor individuals and more political equality. Precisely because the individual resource constraints that poor people face are daunting obstacles to political activism, our explanation focuses on those features of democratic politics that create opportunities for participation that have the strongest effect on poor people's political behavior"-- Provided by publisher.
Other formats
Online version: Boulding, Carew, Voice and inequality New York : Oxford University Press, 2021.
Added to Catalog
August 02, 2021
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Democracy, political participation, and Latin America's poorest citizens
What shapes political participation of the poorest citizens?
Patterns and puzzles
Community organizations and mobilization from below
Political parties and electoral competition
Inclusion and exclusion during the left turn
Quality of democracy

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