Authoritarian Legacies and Democracy in Latin America and Southern Europe

Edited by Katherine Hite and Paola Cesarini
Foreword by Nancy Bermeo

From the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Authoritarian Legacies and Democracy in Latin America and Southern Europe brings together well-known comparative political scientists to define and explore the effects of authoritarian rule in post-authoritarian regimes in Southern Europe, the Southern Cone, and Brazil. Contributors to this volume use the research of historians, social psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists to formulate their conceptualizations of legacies. Their analysis is also sensitive to the experiences of those who live with the consequences of authoritarian regimes. Each chapter offers a multi-case comparison either from within Latin America or between Latin America and Southern Europe.

Among the challenges for democracies in Latin America and Southern Europe are weakened political parties, politicized militaries, compromised judiciaries, corrupt police forces, and widespread citizen distrust. Utilizing a historical-sociological methodology that incorporates both the formal-legal and cultural dimensions of legacies, these essayists offer a fruitful examination of the political structures and institutions bequeathed by authoritarian regimes. They look at such core institutions as political parties, executives, legislatures, constitutions, and interest groups as well as symbolic-discursive dimensions related to individual and collective memories, citizenship, public perception, and trust. They also suggest policy directions to eradicate authoritarian legacies from democratic institutions and praxis.

Authoritarian Legacies and Democracy in Latin America and Southern Europe encourages comparativists to consider more systematically the many manifestations of authoritarian legacies as challenges to democracy. This volume will appeal to all students and scholars interested in comparative politics, Latin America, Southern Europe, and democratization.

KATHERINE HITE is assistant professor of political science at Vassar College.

PAOLA CESARINI is a doctoral candidate in political science at Columbia University.

Contributors: Paola Cesarini, Katherine Hite, Leonardo Morlino, Frances Hagopian, Paloma Aguilar, Felipe Agüero, Anthony H. Pereira, Mark Ungar, and Consuelo Cruz.


“This reviewer has no doubt that historical analysis can help illuminate contemporary realities in all kinds of ways, and the articles in this collection broadly succeed in doing this. . . . [T]his edited collection . . . includes some interesting discussion, and successfully illuminates some significant aspects of the behavior of state actors in Brazil and the southern cone of South America. . . .” — The Americas

“The collection contains many interesting findings and arguments.” — Political Studies Review

“This collection documents the hidden impediments to democratizing reforms, and recognizes the inherent limits of democratization in these two areas of the world. Recommended.” — Choice