The Dynamics of Political Support in Emerging Democracies: Evidence from a Natural Disaster in Peru
International Journal of Public Opinion Research
Oxford University Press
Reason for embargo
Scholars have argued that adherence to regime principles in emerging democracies can be threatened by the political system’s inability to respond to critical events like natural disasters. However, little is known about the dynamics of the causal relationship between system performance and system support. This paper examines the time-varying effects of the 2007 Ica earthquake in Peru on political support. We find that, in the short-run, the poor government response not only reduced support for political actors, but also for democracy. Over the longer run, however, Peruvians continued to relish the game of democratic politics even though they no longer liked the players. We conclude that democratic preferences in fragile states, while volatile, can be resistant to massive policy failures.
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