Latin America’s Lost Illusions: Decentralization and Political Parties

Issue Date April 2003
Volume 14
Issue 2
Page Numbers 138-150
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The article looks at the emergence and growth of regional and local parties in Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru after decentralization. It argues that in a context of weak political parties and declining public trust in parties, local elections and the transfer of resources to sub-national units have had unintended consequences for national party systems. Traditional and national parties have struggled to adapt to these new conditions and a mosaic of locally defined parties have emerged. The growth of these parties has fragmented party systems in the Andean Region and will pose a challenge for governability of these countries.