Mandates and Democracy: Neoliberalism by Surprise in Latin America

Does it matter when politicians ignore the promises they made and the preferences of their constituents? If politicians want to be reelected or see their party reelected at the end of their term, why would they impose unpopular policies? Susan Stokes explores these questions by developing a model of policy switches and then testing it with statistical and qualitative data from Latin American elections over the past two decades. She concludes that politicians may change policies because unpopular policies are best for constituents and hence also will best serve their own political ambitions.

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