December 13th, 2016 – Outsiders and separation of powers in Latin America – Miguel Carreras (University of California, Riverside)

We continue the Latin American Political Economy –LAPE- Seminar Series on December 13th, 2016 with a talk by Dr. Miguel J. Carreras (University of California, Riverside) entitled:

Outsiders and separation of powers in Latin America

In the last 25 years, nine outsider candidates won presidential elections in Latin America. Outsiders are candidates with little political experience running for new parties. This reality presents a dual puzzle, which is the focus of this talk. First, what explains the sudden rise and election of political outsiders in presidential elections? Second, what are the consequences of the election of outsiders for democratic governability and institutional performance? After briefly presenting the institutional factors that contribute to the rise of outsiders in Latin America, the talk will present evidence that shows that outsiders are more likely to threaten democratic governability and to commit authoritarian excesses. Through a combination of quantitative research and an in-depth analysis of the Fujimori case, I will show that executive-legislative relations tend to be more acrimonious when the president is an outsider.


Dr. Miguel J. Carreras is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside.  His research interests include Latin American politics, the study of parties and party systems, populism and the link between criminal violence and the quality of democracy. His previous research has been published in Comparative Political StudiesElectoral StudiesParty Politics, Latin American Research ReviewLatin American Politics and Society, and in the Journal of Politics in Latin America.