1st Edition

Dominican Politics in the Twenty First Century Continuity and Change

Edited By Jacqueline Jiménez Polanco, Ernesto Sagás Copyright 2023
    194 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection examines the continuities and changes that have set the Dominican political system apart from its Latin American counterparts over the last couple of decades. Whereas traditional political parties have lost support throughout Latin America and electoral systems have devolved into illiberal democracies, Dominican democracy remains flawed but vibrant with a popular embrace of party politics.

    Across eight chapters, a collection of subject experts argue that the Dominican case offers valuable lessons to understand that even though traditional political parties are endangered throughout the region, they are not going anywhere. The book analyzes topics including electoral politics, the quality of Dominican democracy, political parties, corruption, relations with Haiti and the United States, migration, the Dominican diaspora, gender and politics, social movements, and civil participation and citizenship, to reveal how the Dominican case proves that traditional political parties can adapt in order to survive, turning themselves into major sources of patronage, appealing to personalistic politics, and tinkering with the constitution in order to stay relevant.

    Dominican Politics in the Twenty First Century will be a vital resource for understanding contemporary Dominican politics. It will appeal to political scientists, Latin Americanists, and students of democracy, comparative politics, and electoral politics in general.

    Prologue: Reflections on patterns of change and continuity in Dominican politics

    Jonathan Hartlyn

    Introduction: Revisiting Dominican Politics

    Jacqueline Jiménez Polanco

    1. The Transition and Consolidation of Democracy in the Dominican Republic: Continuities and Disruptions

    Carlos Morel and Anselmo Muñiz

    2. Democracy, Continuismo, and Human Rights in the Dominican Republic

    Ernesto Sagás

    3. Distributive Politics: Clientelism and Social Expenditure in the Dominican Republic

    Ana Belén Benito Sánchez

    4. The Odebrecht Fraud: An Analysis of Corruptive Practices in the PLD’s Cartel Politics

    Jacqueline Jiménez Polanco

    5. A New Expression of dominicanidad: The Dominican ID Card, Technology and Race

    Eve Hayes de Kalaf

    6. We Want to Be Counted Too: The Evolution of Dominican Overseas Voting, 2004- 2020

    Ernesto Sagás

    Conclusion: Continuity and Change in Dominican Politics: Comparative Perspectives

    Ernesto Sagás


    Jacqueline Jiménez Polanco is Associate Professor of Sociology at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She holds a Ph.D. in political science and sociology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid with a concentration in political changes in contemporary democracies. Dr. Jiménez Polanco is the author of Los partidos políticos en la República Dominicana: Actividad electoral y desarrollo organizativo, Corrupción y cartelización de la política en la República Dominicana, and La corrupción política en la República Dominicana y la entronización del partido cartel. She was granted a PSC-CUNY Award and a CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Research Fellowship in 2022.

    Ernesto Sagás is Professor of Ethnic Studies at Colorado State University. He has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida with a concentration in Latin American studies. Dr. Sagás is the author of Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic, and co-editor of The Dominican People: A Documentary History, and Dominican Migration: Transnational Perspectives. In 2022, he was a Fulbright U.S. scholar in La Paz, Bolivia.

    "In this work, Jacqueline Jiménez Polanco and Ernesto Sagás lead a much-needed intellectual effort that helps us understand the case of the Dominican Republic as another one among those that make up "weary" democracies. From their preoccupation with the problems of representative democracy, their vision is sharp and aids in the comprehension of the impact of the authoritarian past on the present, as well as of the perversion of existing rampant corruption. Their analysis represents an indispensable work to situate the Dominican Republic at the heart of studies in comparative politics."

    Manuel Alcántara, Professor of Political Science, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain

    "Informed by sound research and careful analysis, this edited volume introduces readers to a wealth of knowledge in a skillfully stitched-together​ sequential and well-articulated narrative that discusses political life in a growing democratic Dominican society during the last half century. In six chapters, the authors examine actors, actions, and ideological beliefs and how these compete one against the other in a fierce struggle that, in the end, shows a confrontation between those who have and those who have not."​​

    Ramona Hernández, Professor of Sociology and Director of The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, City College, The City University of New York

    "Remarkable for its multidimensional approach and thematic richness, this historically-informed look into contemporary politics in the Dominican Republic in its own terms as well as in relation to the larger geography of Dominicans abroad is a tour de force that will engage readers studying the Caribbean, Latin America, and other societies sharing a colonial past. The volume’s chapters offer sharp takes on gender relations, racial politics, corruption, anti-corruption forces, autocratic legacies, grassroots social movements, and instances of democratic advances. The authors collectively weave a tapestry of a complex society that reveals a drive to break with the past which is as strong as the entrenched forces that conspire to halt democratic equality and inclusion."

    Silvio Torres-Saillant, Professor of English, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences, Syracuse University