The Impact of Political Decentralization: A Natural Experiment in Uruguay

June 15, 2016

Is political decentralization an effective institutional reform to promote citizens´ engagement with democracy? The potential democratizing effect of political decentralization reforms has been a matter of substantial theoretical and empirical debate. Analyses of the causal impact of decentralization reforms have reached very dissimilar conclusions (Eaton and Connerley 2010), and they have been strongly marked by normative preferences.

Deepening Democracy? Electoral Reforms and Gender Quotas in Chile

October 10, 2016

Sweeping electoral reform of the sort approved by Chile’s senate on January 14 is rare in politics. Electoral systems produce winners and losers, and those who benefit from the previous rules rarely support dramatic changes. Indeed, more than twenty previous attempts to modify the electoral rules adopted by the Pinochet dictatorship had failed. While the system designed during the dictatorship was widely credited with reducing the likelihood of a return to military rule, achieving stability came at a price.

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