NINA WIESEHOMEIER AND DAVID DOYLE
Politics across Latin America is frequently characterized as clientelistic and dominated by appeals to mass patronage. Utilizing a core distinction between left and right that is predicated upon differing attitudes towards equality, the analysis in this paper demonstrates that, taken as a whole, the Latin American electorate form distinct ideological groups, which share common convictions regarding the responsibility of the state to level the playing field and its role in the national economy. The results from the article’s joint correspondence analyses show that theoretical conceptions about the roots of, and responsibility for, inequality in society, together with the practical translation of these beliefs into economic policy, clearly distinguish those on the right from those on the left. Furthermore, the central dimensions emerging from these analyses –differing attitudes towards equality and the state versus market divide – are pre-eminent predictors of the left–right placement of respondents.