Pathways to Power

Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection in Latin America

Paper or softback
Peter M. Siavelis, Scott Morgenstern
Published 18 Jun 2012
List Price £29.95

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“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

“Employing a common typology and framework, this outstanding collection provides the first sustained examination of issues of political recruitment and candidate selection for major legislative and executive posts in contemporary Latin America.”

—Jonathan Hartlyn, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“A heavily documented and scholarly sophisticated text, it will find its main audience with comparative politics scholars and advanced graduate students in the area of Latin American politics.”

—J.A. Rhodes, Choice

Pathways to Power represents an enormous undertaking by an illustrious team of scholars, and the rewards of this effort are substantial. The book opens a research agenda that previous studies have often acknowledged but less often pursued, because of the empirical demands of doing thorough comparative work on candidate selection. Siavelis and Morgenstern harness the resources, both conceptual and in the form of raw labor, to advance this agenda. The book is a major achievement, and those of us with an interest in political institutions and democracy in Latin America are the beneficiaries.”

—John M. Carey, Latin American Politics and Society

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.


Part I Theoretical Framework

1. Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection in Latin America:

A Framework for Analysis

Peter M. Siavelis and Scott Morgenstern

Part II Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection for the Legislative Branch

2. Legislative Candidates in Argentina

Mark P.Jones

3. Political Ambition, Candidate Recruitment, and Legislative Politics in Brazil

David Samuels

4. Legislative Candidate Selection in Chile

Patricio Navia

5. Mejor Solo Que Mal Acompañado: Political Entrepreneurs and List Proliferation in Colombia

Erika Moreno and Maria Escobar-Lemmon

6. Legislative Recruitment in Mexico

Joy Langston

7. Why Factions? Candidate Selection and Legislative Politics in Uruguay

Juan Andres Moraes

Part III Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection for the Executive Branch

8. Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection in Argentina: Presidents and Governors, 1983 to 2006

Miguel De Luca

9. Political Recruitment in an Executive-Centric System: Presidents, Ministers, and Governors in Brazil

Timothy J. Power and Marilia G. Mochel

10. Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection in Chile, 1990–2006: The Executive Branch

David Altman

11. Precandidates, Candidates, and Presidents: Paths to the Colombian Presidency

Steven L. Taylor, Felipe Botero, and Brian F. Crisp

12. Political Recruitment, Governance, and Leadership: How Democracy Has Made a Difference in Mexico

Roderic Ai Camp

13. Presidential Candidate Selection in Uruguay, 1942 to 2004

Daniel Buquet and Daniel Chasquetti

Part III Gender and Political Recruitment

14. How Do Candidate Recruitment and Selection Processes Affect Representation of Women?

Maria Escobar-Lemmon and Michelle Taylor Robinson

Part IV Summary and Conclusions

15. Pathways to Power and Democracy in Latin America

Scott Morgenstern and Peter M. Siavelis



About the Contributors

Peter M. Siavelis is Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest University.

Scott Morgenstern is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

A cross-national analysis of political recruitment and candidate selection in six Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. Provides typology and theoretical insights for other countries in the region and around the world.