The following work argues that Venezuela’s political system changed from an electoral democracy to a Competitive Autocracy with Hugo Chavez’s arrival to power in 1999. As Corrales and Penfold have argued in their work, Venezuela can be considered an electoral autocracy. More specifically, based on Levitsky and Way’s definition of the term, this work argues that both Chavez and Maduro have led a Competitive Authoritarian political system, where pronounced autocratic practices are accompanied by competitive elections.
Drawing upon work published by Venezuelan politicians, historians, journalists, and social scientists, this work traces Venezuelan political systems from colonial times until 1958, when Venezuela became an electoral democracy. By pointing out Venezuela’s severe centuries-old socioeconomic problems, the researcher argues that these structural realities explain much of the political instability, militarism, and oligarchic rule that has plagued the country during its more than 200 years of independent history. Moreover, by providing a chronology of the major autocratic political actions and overwhelming electoral victories of the Bolivarian Revolution, this thesis attempts to support the argument that the regime in place since 1999 is Competitive Authoritarian.
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 58/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Latin American Studies, Political science|
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