The impact of socialisation on democratic attitudes

Date of publication: June 15, 2014


To what extend does socialisation under democratic institutions shape support for democracy and other democratic attitudes? As a context that has experienced authoritarian and democratic forms of government during the 20th Century, Latin America provides a natural setting to test hypotheses of democratic socialisation. Survey evidence from 18 countries in the region shows that Latin Americans growing in democratic periods generally hold stronger beliefs on democracy than those socialising during periods of authoritarian regimes or military rule. This is even when controlling for other variables such as regime performance and ideological orientations. But despite the expansion of democracy and its consolidation in recent years, newer generations do not seem to respond to this pattern as clearly as those observed among older Latin Americans. The surveys are part of the Latinobarometer study conducted annually in the region.

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