Pathways to Power

Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection in Latin America

Edited by Peter M. Siavelis, Scott Morgenstern

Paperback - £33.95

Publication date:

15 March 2012

Length of book:

496 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271033761

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.

“This book sets the new scholarly standard for the analysis of the recruitment and selection of candidates for Congress and President in the major Latin American countries. The editors formulate a general framework to study the role of political parties in candidate selection. The authors apply it to the country studies for the legislature and the executive. The book is theoretically coherent, making it possible for the empirical case studies to generate genuinely comparable results. The result is a gem of rigorous scholarship that sheds light on understudied key questions for constitutional democratic politics. Its scholarship is excellent.”

—Jorge I. Domínguez, Harvard University