Patterns of Party Coherence in Latin America

Leticia M. Ruiz
Patricia Otero

Abstract: This article analyses trends in the degree of coherence in the parliamentary groups of political parties in Latin American. To do this, it makes use of surveys of Parliamentary Elites in Latin America (PELA) performed in a number of countries in the region. Coherence means the level of agreement within a party on substantive issues associated with inter-party competition, thus providing information on the nature of the party. Firstly, it offers a measurement of consistency that takes into account the dispersion of preferences of parliamentarians that are here confined to the ideological spectrum (left-right). Secondly, it assesses what aspects of the surrounding environment determine the patterns found in the different degrees of consistency over time. More specifically, it analyses the impact of variables related to parties themselves and party systems in the creation of political parties with differing degrees of ideological coherence.

Keywords: party coherence, Latin America, political parties, party systems, parliamentarians, agreement

Paper for delivery at the 7th Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association (EPSA). Milan, Italy 22-24 June, 2017