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By Rickard O. Lalander

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Extra resources for Suicide of the Elephants? Venezuelan Decentralization Between Partyarchy and Chavismo

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92 Coppedge, 2001 b: 1-4. 89 90 41 Rickard Lalander Suicide of the Elephants? scenario). But with a decentralized system, votes for smaller parties might be of greater value, with the possibility of gaining political representation at the municipal or regional state levels. Several analysts hold that the constitution of a party system can be a decisive condition for a decentralization process. Penfold-Becerra, for instance, argues that highly centralized party systems have decisively negative implications for the outcomes of a decentralization reform.

Neither can one process live its own independent life. Rather, as previously quoted from Dahl in the section on delimitations, each process, reform, organization or the like, is affected and influenced by other societal processes, behavior and action by competitive actors and further surrounding factors. Therefore, a more dialectical method will be needed in order to see more clearly if, and in that case, how, one process or reform led to transformations or ruptures, in this case in the Venezuelan political party system.

I decided therefore to go a bit more deeply into that area, though I confess that the Caldera regionalization project merits its own study or book, since elements of the relationship between the party system and political-institutional decentralization50 took root during the period. Thus, this part of the background chapter constitutes a sort of bonus as a contribution to the research field of decentralization and the party system. Studies of the Venezuelan party system have mainly provided a focus on AD, although since the 1980’s and the deepening of the economic crisis, academics in and outside Venezuela began taking an interest in other institutional arrangements and the development of State reform and democratization.

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