Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Schmidt, Gregory D., 1952-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


America--Politics and government--20th century--Case studies


This dissertation evaluates the performance of the Democratic Regime of the Americas. A comparative case study approach is used to examine seven cases: Haiti 1991, Peru 1992, Guatemala 1993, Dominican Republic 1994, Paraguay 1996, Peru 2000, Venezuela 2001. Each case represents an interruption in procedural democracy and a variety of responses domestically, from the regional and international community. To explain the development of the regime I compare and contrast three theoretical approaches. Realism, liberalism and social constructivism are useful to varying degrees in explaining the development of the Democratic Regime of the Americas. Each perspective highlights various strengths and weaknesses of the Democratic Regime of the Americas. The objectives of the case studies are: (1) to describe the background and components of the Democratic Regime of the Americas, (2) to evaluate how the regime evolved over the two decades encompassed by the seven case studies. The regime affected the outcome of the cases and was shaped by the events rather than a causal arrow flowing solely in one direction. In several of the cases the regime was weak or ineffectual in restoring procedural democracy while in others various components of the regime interacted to exert a powerful and lasting influence. The core argument is that a consensus around procedural democracy has developed in the scholarly community as well as in policy-making circles. The difficulty has come in operationalizing those norms when democracy is threatened. What the cases illustrate is the distance traveled in the development of the consensus and the substantial obstacles that remain.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [227]-234)


234 pages




Northern Illinois University

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