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Contexto Internacional

Print version ISSN 0102-8529On-line version ISSN 1982-0240


RIBEIRO, Pedro Feliú  and  PINHEIRO, Flávio. Presidents, Legislators, and Foreign Policy in Latin America. Contexto int. [online]. 2016, vol.38, n.1, pp.467-501. ISSN 1982-0240.

Which factors determine legislative support for the foreign policy initiatives of Latin American presidents? How do political parties and politicians behave when dealing with presidential foreign policy? The issue of whether presidents exercise greater influence over foreign or domestic affairs has been extensively debated in recent years, and the evidence indicates that legislators do behave differently when dealing with foreign policy proposals. Building on this debate, we analyse legislative support for the foreign policies of 22 Latin-American presidents in eight countries from 1994 to 2014, using an original dataset in a quantile regression framework. We also use three selected cases to illustrate our evidence. Our findings are counter-intuitive and bring new elements into the debate about legislative behaviour towards foreign policy in presidential countries. Measures of a political party's ideology, the size of the governing coalition, and the effective number of parties (ENP) play important roles in levels of legislative support for presidential foreign policy agendas. Surprisingly, the popularity of presidents and the nature of their initiatives - high or low politics - do not affect these levels of support.

Keywords : Foreign Policy Analysis; Domestic Actors; Latin American Politics; Legislative Behaviour; Presidential Systems.

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