Faith and experience: Authoritarian politics and Catholic parties in Latin America.
How does a history of participation in secular authoritarian regimes shape the trajectory of religious political parties after transitions to democracy? This article examines the contrasting experiences of Catholic political parties in Latin America in order to assess whether and under what conditions pre-transition participation has a positive effect on post-transition electoral performance. It develops a theoretical account that emphasizes the relative costs and benefits of participation in secular authoritarian politics for religious parties. Empirically, it uses an original data set covering 22 Catholic parties that participated in 104 elections across Latin America as well as in-depth case studies of Mexico and Peru. It finds that Catholic parties that participated in authoritarian politics were more likely to emerge as significant players after transition, but that this effect is contingent on the competitiveness of the authoritarian regime.
Mantilla, L. F. (2016). Faith and experience: Authoritarian politics and Catholic parties in Latin America. Party Politics. doi: 10.1177/1354068816663035
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