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Latin American political elites’ positions on same-sex marriage, abortion, and drug legalization

Authors:

Asbel Bohigues ,

University of Valencia, ES
About Asbel

Asbel Bohigues is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Valencia. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Salamanca. His research lines include comparative politics, democracy, and elites, with a regional specialization in Latin America.

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João V. Guedes-Neto,

Kean University, US
About João V.

João V. Guedes-Neto is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Public Administration at Kean University. His main area of expertise is intergroup behaviour.

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Manoel Leonardo Santos

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, BR
About Manoel Leonardo

Manoel Leonardo Santos is a Professor at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. He holds a Master’s and PhD in Political Science from the Federal University of Pernambuco/University of Salamanca.

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Abstract

What explains the attitudes of Latin American political elites towards same-sex marriage, abortion, and drug legalization? In recent years, several countries have engaged in political disputes centred on these three issues. Scholarship has explored the topic from different perspectives, ranging from theories of democracy to voters’ political behaviour. Nonetheless, the perspective of political elites is still understudied. We use data from elite surveys in sixteen Latin American countries to address this question. First, we find significant differences between and within countries and political parties, meaning these issues are far from consensual. Second, we analyse the effects of ideology, religion, and socio-demographic characteristics. We confirm that ideology and religiosity are key predictors, but a deeper analysis shows that whereas those on the right and religious are strongly opposed to these issues, those on the left and less religious are not as strongly in favour.

Resumen: Posiciones de las elites políticas latinoamericanas sobre matrimonios del mismo sexo, aborto y legalización de las drogas
¿Qué explica las actitudes de las élites políticas latinoamericanas hacia el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, el aborto y la legalización de las drogas? En los últimos años, varios países se han involucrado en disputas políticas centradas en estos tres temas. La academia ha explorado el tema desde diferentes perspectivas, que van desde las teorías de la democracia hasta el comportamiento político de los votantes. No obstante, la perspectiva de las élites políticas todavía está poco estudiada. Usamos datos de encuestas de élite en dieciséis países latinoamericanos para abordar este tema. Primero, encontramos diferencias significativas entre y dentro de los países y los partidos políticos, lo que significa que estos temas están lejos del consenso. En segundo lugar, analizamos los efectos de la ideología, la religión y las características sociodemográficas. Confirmamos que la ideología y la religión son predictores clave, pero un análisis más profundo muestra que mientras los derechistas y los religiosos se oponen fuertemente a estos temas, los izquierdistas y los menos religiosos no están tan fuertemente a favor.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10833
How to Cite: Bohigues, A., Guedes-Neto, J. V., & Santos, M. L. (2022). Latin American political elites’ positions on same-sex marriage, abortion, and drug legalization. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (114), 1–24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10833
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Published on 18 Aug 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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