Political System Justification in Argentina: Ideology, System Performance, and the Legitimization of Democracy




Palabras clave:

democracy legitimacy, Latin America, political system justification, right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation


The main objective of this study was to analyze democracy legitimacy in a non-WEIRD country from a political psychology perspective. More specifically, two dimensions of democracy legitimacy were empirically isolated: diffuse and specific support. We tested a system justification model of democracy legitimacy, while also assessing the role of sociodemographic and context evaluation variables. We applied a questionnaire with closed-ended response choices to a non-probabilistic quota sample of adults from Cordoba, Argentina (n = 450). Besides descriptively analyzing democracy legitimacy, two hierarchical multiple regression analyzes were performed, one for each criterion variable. The results evidenced that diffuse support for democracy remains relatively high, while specific support for Argentine political system is markedly low. Different variables explained each dimension of political legitimacy: those regarding ideological system justification—right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and political conservatism—explained an important amount of the variance of diffuse support but had only a marginal role in explaining specific support. The latter was better predicted by context evaluation variables, suggesting that system performance is more relevant than ideology when it comes to specific support. Thus, although democracy legitimacy could be based on a relatively developed civic culture, a poor system performance is not innocuous. The authors discuss how the theoretical explanations developed and framed in Western democracies may be not adequate to comprehend Latin American political culture.


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Cómo citar

Alonso, D., & Brussino, S. (2024). Political System Justification in Argentina: Ideology, System Performance, and the Legitimization of Democracy. Psykhe, 32(1). https://doi.org/10.7764/psykhe.2022.48975



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