Niche parties in Latin America

Theresa Kernecker, Markus Wagner
2018 Figshare  
Niche parties, which have been defined as focusing on a narrow range of issues their competitors neglect, are a phenomenon that has so far been described and analysed primarily in Western Europe. In this paper, we extend existing work by examining the presence and nature of niche parties in Latin America. Using the expert survey data collected by [Wiesehomeier, N., and K. Benoit. 2009. "President, Parties, and Policy Competition." The Journal of Politics 71: 1435–1447], we show that there are
more » ... che parties in most Latin American party systems. Two kinds of niche party, traditionalist and postmaterialist, predominate. We also show that niche parties, despite being defined based on issue-based characteristics, are in fact less programmatic in their linkage strategies than mainstream competitors. Instead, niche parties are slightly more likely to draw on charismatic strategies and tend to establish strong organizational links to ethnic and religious organizations. Niche parties in Latin America are primarily vehicles for the mobilization of group interests. These findings have implications for our understanding of political representation in new democracies and niche party strategies more generally.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.6530636 fatcat:4y5rnbna35gh5mrdopv4xmei74