Democratisation, External Exposure and State Food Distribution in The Dominican Republic



The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with a ‘failed’ state, requires regular financial assistance from international funds and remains exposed to external economic pressures. State food distribution in the country, however, adheres to traditional statist policies and institutions that disappeared elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean during the 1980s and 1990s. Relevant literature arguably does not anticipate this outcome. This article proposes that political institutions associated with Dominican democratisation since the late 1970s, particularly strong presidentialism, a stable, non-ideological party system and high voter turnout at elections, provide incentives for a status quo, clientelistic policy in this strategic area of social policy.