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Rethinking Presidentialism: Challenges and Presidential Falls in South America

Kathryn Hochstetler
Comparative Politics
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Jul., 2006), pp. 401-418
DOI: 10.2307/20434009
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20434009
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Rethinking Presidentialism: Challenges and Presidential Falls in South America
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Abstract

Since 1978 forty percent of elected presidents in South America have been challenged by civilian actors trying to force them to leave office early. Twenty-three percent have fallen through impeachment and resignations. Challenged presidents were more likely to pursue neoliberal policies, be personally implicated in scandal, and lack a congressional majority than unchallenged presidents. The presence or absence of large street protests demanding their removal from office were crucial in determining their fates. Presidential falls confound several core assumptions about presidential regimes: that presidential terms are firmly fixed, that populations can not withdraw presidential mandates, and that political conflict in presidentialism results in democratic breakdown.

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