Neoliberal reform and protest in Latin American democracies: A replication and correction

Frederick Solt, Dongkyu Kim, Kyu Young Lee, Spencer Willardson, Seokdong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Do neoliberal economic reforms in Latin American democracies mobilize citizens to overcome their collective action
problems and protest? A recent addition to the scholarship on this crucial question of the relationship of markets and
politics, Bellinger and Arce (2011), concludes that economic liberalization does have this effect, working to repoliticize
collective actors and reinvigorate democracy. We reexamine the article’s analyses and demonstrate that they misinterpret
the marginal effect of the variables of theoretical interest. Thus, the article’s optimistic claims about the consequences
for democracy of economic liberalization in the region are not supported by its own empirical results. It is argued here
that its results suggest instead that protests became more common in autocracies when they moved away from markets.
Rather than speaking to how people have mobilized to protest against liberal reforms in Latin America’s democracies,
the work’s analyses illuminate only when people protested against the region’s dictatorships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalResearch and Politics
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Neoliberal Reform
  • Political Protest
  • Latin America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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