CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Dr. Anria Co-Authors Article on Coalition-Building in Bolivia

September 12th, 2016

CIPR post-doctoral fellow Dr. Santiago Anria recently published an article, Inside Revolutionary Parties: Coalition-Building and Maintenance in Reformist Bolivia, on the coalitional success of mass-mobilizing, reformist parties once they achieve power. The article was co-authored with Dr. Jennifer Cyr of the University of Arizona, Tucson.

It explores why some parties are more successful than others at managing the potentially conflicting interests of their diverse social bases. Their argument is that organizational strategies adopted early on matter greatly. More specifically, the nature of the party’s core constituency, together with the linkage strategies undertaken by party leaders in crafting a coalition of support, shapes a party’s ability to maintain that coalition over time. When coalitional partners are intensively rather than extensively integrated, they are more likely to compromise over policy disagreements rather than defect when defection becomes attractive.

Their theory was developed by comparing the evolution of two Bolivian parties: the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement and the Movement Toward Socialism. Contrary to conventional explanations that are overly dependent upon structural factors, Dr. Anria and Dr. Cyr’s argument stresses the impact of strategic choices in shaping a party’s ability to maintain its coalition.