Politics of the Periphery: An Introduction to Subnational Authoritarianism and Democratization in Latin America

Edward L. Gibson

Abstract


The article is an introduction to the topic featured in JPLA 2/2010 "Subnational Authoritarianism and Democratization in Latin America." It discusses the papers by Carlos Gervasoni, Agustina Giraudy, Julián Durazo Herrmann, Alfred P. Montero, and Tracy Beck Fenwick that follow in this issue. Why feature the topic “subnational authoritarianism and democratization” in the Journal of Politics in Latin America? Because despite widespread agreement that subnational jurisdictions in Latin America vary considerably in the democratic character of their politics, political scientists are still largely in the dark about how to conceptualize and measure this situation, and have scant knowledge about mechanisms that sustain and undermine it. This collection of articles makes major headway toward clearing our methodological and theoretical ignorance of these topics.

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