CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Campaigns and Voters in a Developing Democracy: Argentina's 2015 Election in Comparative Perspective

June 8th, 2016

Campaigns and Voters in a Developing Democracy:
Argentina’s 2015 Election in Comparative Perspective
Thursday, May 19th, 2016 and Friday, May 20th, 2016
Organized by Noam Lupu (University of Wisconsin – Madison), Luis Schiumerini (Oxford University) and Virginia Oliveros (Tulane University).

Social scientists have come to learn a great deal about the political psychology and behavior of voters in advanced democracies. However, our knowledge of political behavior remains limited by the particular US and Western European contexts in which this research is typically conducted. Only recently has the study of political behavior in developing democracies – including Latin America – gained momentum, helping to shed light on the similarities and differences between received theories of political behavior stemming from advanced democracies and the reality on the ground in developing contexts.

In particular, this new research identifies some of the peculiar features of Latin American contexts – inequality, levels of development, party system weakness, and economic crises – that make political behavior in the region diverge from the predictions of existing theories. Even so, we are still a long way from understanding political preferences and voter behavior in Latin America to the extent we understand them in, for instance, Germany or the US.

This conference sought to address these lingering challenges by bringing together scholars working on a range of topics related to political behavior and focusing on a unique set of public opinion data from Argentina. The 2015 election in Argentina is a particularly useful setting for testing and developing theories of political behavior because Argentine democracy shares many of the economic challenges, institutional weaknesses, and socioeconomic contexts of the region more broadly. Since the incumbent president was term-limited and national politics have reached unprecedented levels of polarization, the 2015 election was also particularly open and competitive, making the role of media and campaigns more readily observable than in the heavily structured and stable political systems of advanced democracies.

The papers presented and the intellectual exchange that this conference generated will be collected in an edited volume entitled, Campaigns and Voters in a Developing Democracy: Argentina’s 2015 Election in Comparative Perspective, with a projected publication in the summer of 2017.

This conference was sponsored by The Center for Inter-American Policy and Research, The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, the Murphy Institute, the Political Science Department and the Office of Academic Affairs and Provost.


Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro (Brown University) and
Matt Winters (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign).
“Strategic Voting in the 2015 Argentine Presidential Elections.”

Luis Schiumerini (University of Oxford).
“Macri’s Victory: A right-Wing Mandate?”

Noam Lupu (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
“Affluence, Inequality, and Vote Choice in Argentina’s 2015 Election.”

Carlos Gervasoni (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella) and
Maria Laura Tagina (Universidad Nacional de San Martín).
“Voting for the (Incumbent) Peronists: Individual and Provincial Sources of Electoral Support for Daniel Scioli in the 2015 Presidential Elections.”

Ernesto Calvo (University of Maryland).
“Party Insiders vs. Mavericks: A survey experiment on candidate- and party-centric attitudes of voters.” (Co-authored with Isabella Alcañiz and Marcelo Escolar).

Virginia Oliveros (Tulane University).
“Electoral Corruption in the 2015 Argentinean Election.”

Friday, May 20

Andy Baker (University of Colorado, Boulder).
“The Dynamics of Mass Partisanship in Latin America: Partisan Stability and Instability in Three Young Democracies.” (Co-authored with Dalton Dorr).

Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés).
“Minimal effects vs. resonance model: a test of media influence during the 2015 presidential campaign in Argentina.”

Kenneth Greene (University of Texas, Austin).
“Information Breakdown: Why the Peronist Machine Failed to Elect Daniel Scioli.”