Exploring the micromotivations (Williams, 1979, 1988; Aguiar, 1991) or internal reasons (Williams, 1979; Lupia, McCubbins, & Popkin, 2000) that mold public preferences for either democracy or authoritarianism, this paper aims to discuss the types of rationality that lie behind people’s choices in survey studies in Latin America. From this perspective, we examine the balance between survey respondents’ evaluation of democratic government and their views of the efficacy of democracy to solve their country’s problems, and their joint impact on the molding of citizens’ preferences for a particular type of government. Results show that satisfaction with how democratic government performs stands out as one of the reasons underlying individuals’ preferences for democracy. Also the belief that democracy does not solve the problems significantly determines the people’s choice. Conclusions favor the hypothesis that, in the region, a utilitarian rationality prevails over an axiological rationality (Weber, 1922; Boudon, 1996) in the way citizens form preferences for or against democracy.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rodolfo_sarsfield/2/