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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Legitimacy in a persistent democracy : Ecuador 1996-2007 Osorio-Ramirez, Freddy


The present dissertation reconstructs the notion of legitimacy in Ecuador between 1996 and 2007 in order to re-think our measurements and understanding of Latin American democracies. Empirically, the analysis is centered on the country`s puzzling tendency to survive institutional volatility, bad economic performance and social unrest, while the theoretical section underlines the importance of the vertical and horizontal participatory components of legitimacy. After exploring different plausible explanations of Ecuador`s puzzling mixture of political turmoil and regime endurance, this dissertation concludes that legitimacy helped democracy to endure in Ecuador. The main conclusion is that the horizontal components of political participation and the enactment of democratic values by social movements as well as new political parties played a key role in the survival of democracy. The dissertation contributes to the democratization literature by encompassing the normative elements of democracy, while at the same time contributes to democratic theory by pushing further the boundaries of a notion and a case that requires further attention.

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