The influence of “dark networks” on citizens’ confidence in democratic institutions in Mexico

Jeannine E. Relly, Myiah J. Hutchens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Americas have the highest homicide rate of any region in the world, with adherence to rule of law being a major concern in “third-wave” democracies. Given the surge in violence in Mexico in the years after the country ended one-party rule, we utilize the country case to conceptually and empirically test the influence of violence and corruption as proxies for “dark networks” – covert actors working outside of the law – on citizens’ confidence in democracy and democratic institutions. In a largely empirically unexplored area, we operationalize the concept of dark networks and study the impact on citizens over critical junctures of three Mexican presidencies. Utilizing representative survey data, we analyze the impact of dark networks (homicides and direct knowledge of corrupt acts) on satisfaction with democracy and confidence in democratic institutions. Experience with corrupt acts had a significantly negative influence on satisfaction with democracy and confidence in democratic institutions and local government. Homicides had a significant yet only slightly positive influence on satisfaction with democracy and confidence in local government. Right-leaning ideology had a significant yet only weak positive influence on satisfaction with democracy and on confidence in institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-564
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science Journal
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Corruption
  • Dark networks
  • Democracy
  • Democratic institutions
  • Mexico
  • Public opinion
  • Security
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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