Latin America Legislative Studies

The Ideological Organization of Latin American Legislative Parties

G. Rosas, “The Ideological Organization of Latin American Legislative Parties. An Empirical Analysis of Elite Policy Preferences”, Comparative Political Studies, 38 (7), 2005.

Are legislative party systems in Latin America organized along ideological lines? This article presents a cross-country analysis of legislators’ positions on a variety of issues, such as government intervention in the economy, the value of democratic competition, attitudes toward cultural minorities, and views on international openness. The study is based on discriminant analysis of data from a 1997 survey of legislators in 12 countries. The purpose is to explore whether legislative parties in the region are ideologically organized and if so, to understand the substance and structure of the ideological dimensions that underlie legislative party systems. The analysis reveals variation in the programmatic organization of Latin American legislatures, emphasizing that political, cultural, and economic dimensions coalesce in different ways across countries to account for ideological disagreement among legislative parties.

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