Presidentialism and Democracy in Latin America

Presidentialism and Democracy in Latin America

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This 1997 book addresses the current debate regarding the liabilities and merits of presidential government. Does presidentialism make it less likely that democratic governments will be able to manage political conflict? With the unprecedented wave of transitions to democracy since the 1970s, this question has been hotly contested in political and intellectual circles all over the globe. The contributors to this volume examine variations among different presidential systems and skeptically view claims that presidentialism has added significantly to the problems of democratic governance and stability.
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Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 14 b/w illus. 30 tables
  • 1139174800
  • 9781139174800

Review quote

'... this is an outstanding volume. The editors merit a hearty vote of thanks from all students of Latin America.' J. D. Martz, Choice '... the scope of investigation is admirable. ... the authors ... generate a contemporary record of the countries that will be useful to all students of Latin American politics.' Edward M. Dew, Perspectives on Political Science '... The editors define the research question at hand in their introduction, the country cases take them up explicity with a common vocabulary, and the impressive conclusion capitalizes on the conceptual framework and case studies to advance significantly scholarly understanding of presidentialism.' Latin American Research Review
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About Scott Mainwaring

Scott Mainwaring is Chair and Professor of Government at the University of Notre Dame. He is author or co-editor of Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America (Stanford University Press, 1995), Issues in Democratic Consolidation: The New South American Democracies in Comparative Perspective (University of Notre Dame Press, 1992), The Progressive Church in Latin America (University of Notre Dame Press, 1989), and The Catholic Church and Politics in Brazil, 1916-1985 (Stanford University Press, 1986). Matthew S. Shugart is Professor at the Department of Political Science and the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego. Among his books are Seats and Votes (with Rein Taagepera, 1989), Presidents and Assemblies (with John Carey, Cambridge University Press, 1992), Presidentialism and Democracy in Latin America (co-edited with Scott Mainwaring, Cambridge University Press, 1997), Executive Decree Authority (co-edited with John Carey, Cambridge University Press, 1998), and Mixed-Member Electoral Systems (co-edited with Martin Wattenberg, 2001). His articles have appeared in numerous journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science Review, the British Journal of Political Science, and Electoral Studies.
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Table of contents

Contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction Scott Mainwaring and Matthew Soberg Shugart; 1. Presidentialism and democracy in Latin America: rethinking the terms of the debate Matthew Soberg Shugart and Scott Mainwaring; 2. Multipartism, robust federalism, and presidentialism in Brazil Scott Mainwaring; 3. The unrealized potential of presidential dominance in Colombia Ronald P. Archer and Matthew Soberg Shugart; 4. Presidential behavior in a system with strong parties: Venezuela, 1958-95 Brian F. Crisp; 5. Strong candidates for a limited office: presidentialism and political parties in Costa Rica John M. Carey; 6. Political sources of presidencialismo in Mexico Jeffrey Weldon; 7. Evaluating Argentina's presidential democracy: 1983-95 Mark P. Jones; 8. In defense of presidentialism: the case of Chile, 1932-70 Julio Faundez; 9. Executive-legislative relations in post-Pinochet Chile: a preliminary assessment Peter M. Siavelis; 10. Hybrid presidentialism and democratization: the case of Bolivia Eduardo A. Gamarra; 11. Conclusion: presidentialism and the party system Scott Mainwaring and Matthew Soberg Shugart; Appendix: outlines of constitutional powers in Latin America John M. Carey, Octavio Amorim Neto and Matthew Soberg Shugart; References; Index.
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