Constitutional Reforms and Political Competition in Bolivia


  • Mario Torrico Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Sede México (FLACSO-México)



changes in the subnational electoral system, democratic continuity, electoral reforms, neoinstitutionalism, prefectural elections, subnational political competence, 2005 political reform


This article explains the causes and effects of institutional change in political contexts where there is no guarantee of strict compliance with the rules. Analyzing the political reform of 2005 that made it possible for prefects or governors to be elected for the first time in Bolivia by popular vote, evidence was found that when there is a crisis of legitimacy, declining coalitions push for inclussive changes that reduce future electoral losses and cannot be reversed by the rising coalitions that come to power. These coalitions, nonetheless, attempt to limit the degree of inclusion of rules through lowerlevel policy changes that reduce political competition.