Chapter

Party System in Disarray

Gustavo Flores-Macías

in After Neoliberalism?

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199891658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933402 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891658.003.0004
Party System in Disarray

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Chapter 4 discusses the role of the party system in explaining statist economic reforms in Venezuela during Hugo Chávez’s presidency. It argues that the disarray of the party system during the late 1980s and early 1990s favored the rise of outsider, anti-system candidates and steered decision making away from Congress, which undermined the opposition’s ability to shape the president’s economic reforms. Once these reforms were undertaken, oil revenues allowed Chávez to sustain statist policies over time. Although sudden economic crises were absent in the years leading to Chávez’s election in 1998, the gradual deterioration of economic conditions contributed to the weakening of the party system. Other factors, including organized labor, the depth of neoliberal reforms, and the weakness that characterized the executive at the time Chávez reached power did not play a significant role in explaining statist reforms in Venezuela.

Keywords: Venezuela; Hugo Chávez; party system; economic reforms; economic crises; oil; resource curse; organized labor; neoliberalism; executive powers

Chapter.  9480 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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