Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Joseph Baker

Committee Members

Scott Beck, Martha Copp, Paul Kamolnick


Individuals interacting in an environment that exacerbates fear of crime and general distrust may face erosion of democratic values and perceive authoritarian policies as a solution to restore order. In Latin America historical widespread distrust in the government apparatus as well as fear of crime, have always been a topic of interest, not only for sociologists but also for political scientists and lawmakers. This study uses the LAPOP wave 2012 (Latin American Public Opinion) survey to assess Ecuadorians’ perceptions about trust in the government and fear of crime as predictors of support for authoritarian policies (mano dura). Logistic regressions show evidence that fear of crime acts as a better predictor than level of trust in the government for predicting the likelihood of supporting authoritarian policies. Overall, this study provides a hint of how Ecuadorians support for democratic principles may have weakened by fear of crime and lack of trust in the government apparatus.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.