Publication date:09 July 2008
Length of book:496 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
Analyses of formal governmental institutions and electoral laws have considerably advanced our understanding of how politics works in Latin America. However, these analyses largely overlook the process of candidate recruitment and selection, an issue intricately tied to political outcomes and the functioning of democracy.
In this volume, a team of experts uses a common analytic framework developed by the editors to analyze the recruitment and selection of executive and legislative candidates in six major countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay. It does so from two perspectives. First, as a dependent variable, the volume explores the party and legal factors that drive the recruitment and selection process, thus producing particular types of candidates. It then considers candidate type as an independent variable, analyzing the impact of candidate type on campaigns, political parties, and the behavior of legislators and presidents once elected. The result is the first fully comparative inquiry into a central, but largely neglected, determinant of politics in Latin America.
—Jorge I. Domínguez, Harvard University