Political Institutions, Policymaking, and Policy Stability in Latin America

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In some Latin American nations, policy change occurs frequently, while in others it is stable, less prone to shifts with the prevailing political climate or shocks. The conditions under which institutional rules and the powers of key actors influence the capacity for governance vary, and this variation is seldom addressed in the literature. This project examines the effects of the interactions between key policymakers (the executive and the legislature) in Latin America on policy stability across different institutional frameworks. Countries with simultaneously strong executives and weak legislatures are shown to have unstable policy environments, as are countries with a history of unified government and, to a lesser extent, candidate-centered electoral systems. © 2011 University of Miami.