Political Science


Political Theory


There is a spectrum of parties that exist in foundational elections in new democracies, and this research will seek to identify why some parties are more successful than others, focusing on Latin America. These comparisons will highlight important characteristics of the parties that give them advantages and make them more likely to win. Subsequent studies will examine new democracies in other regions. A party can choose to embrace an idea or movement, such as the legacy of an old regime or a transition to democracy. Hypotheses are developed that will test variables that lead to a party increasing its vote share and share of seats in the country parliament. The variables are old regime alignment and opposition alignment. Within the countries’ foundational elections, the political parties will be identified. The case study compares Brazil and Mexico. The study shows a relationship with party alignment with old regimes and electoral success. The hypotheses will be tested in future research quantitatively throughout the region using multiple regression analyses, and a few cases will be more deeply explored qualitatively to further understand the insights from the statistical findings.

Abstract Format




Faculty Mentor

Ross Burkhart, Allen Hicken, Mike Touchton, and Jill Witrock