Democracy Paradox
Democracy Paradox
May 11, 2021
James Loxton Explains Why Authoritarian Successor Parties Succeed in Democracies
Play • 55 min

They really view their history as one of victimization, one of struggle and even martyrdom. ARENA had multiple leaders assassinated. Again, that version of history that I just told you, that's not necessarily my view. But I do actually believe that that is their sincere belief and it makes for a really compelling founding myth if you will. And I think that founding myth has helped to hold both parties together right up until the present day.

James Loxton

A full transcript is available at

Key Highlights Include

  • Why do voters elect leaders with ties to former dictators?
  • Description of authoritarian successor parties
  • Challenges for conservative party formation
  • A brief history of the UDI in Chile and ARENA in El Salvador
  • The role of counterrevolutionary struggle

Key Links

Conservative Party-Building in Latin America: Authoritarian Inheritance and Counterrevolutionary Struggle by James Loxton

"Authoritarian Successor Parties" by James Loxton in Journal of Democracy, July 2015

Visit James at

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