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Latin American Traditional Parties, 1978-2006

Electoral Trajectories and Internal Party Politics

Laura Wills-Otero
Ciencias Sociales
Ciencia Política

Parties are the major actors democracies. They have been acknowledged repeatedly as the critical link between voters, representatives and guarantors of democratic governance. Without them, a democracy can hardly be said to exist because they are the principal links between government and society. However, parties can lose their representative capacity, and be challenged by disaffected electorates that pursue other alternatives for political involvement. This book focuses upon the electoral weakening of Latin America’s traditional parties. These parties suffered electoral declines because, among other reasons, they accumulated a history of poor economic performance and of unresolved representational shortcomings. Parties that had been key actors in the establishment and consolidation of new democratic regimes failed to adequately perform in the economic and political realms during the first years after transitions from dictatorships. Although debilitated, many traditional parties in Latin American democracies remain today as central actors that shape political processes. Others in fact have disappeared. The study and analysis of the electoral and internal dynamics of parties that survive and those that disappear, in particular in the presence of environmental challenges, sheds new light on the factors that explain the different possible outcomes. The question that guides the book is the following: are some parties better suited to respond to economic, political and social challenges? The answer is affirmative. It states that the internal structure of parties matters. It mediates the effects that environmental challenges cause on parties. Some structures are less suitable to efficiently respond to those difficulties, while others allow parties to adapt and survive in new contexts

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Detalles de la publicación

ISBN impreso 9789587741827
ISBN electrónico 9789587741834
Año de publicación 2015
Mes de Publicación Octubre
Edición Primera
Formato Rústica
Número de páginas 216
Tamaño 17 x 24
Precio 48000
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Descripción en inglés

Parties are the major actors of political representation in democra¬cies. They have been acknowledged repeatedly as the critical link between vot¬ers, representatives and guarantors of democratic governance. Without them, a democracy can hardly be said to exist because they are the principal links between government and society. However, parties can lose their representa¬tive capacity, and be challenged by disaffected electorates that pursue other alternatives for political involvement. This book focuses upon the electoral weakening of Latin America’s traditional parties. These parties suffered elec¬toral declines because, among other reasons, they accumulated a history of poor economic performance and of unresolved representational shortcomings. Parties that had been key actors in the establishment and consolidation of new democratic regimes failed to adequately perform in the economic and political realms during the first years after transitions from dictatorships.

Although debilitated, many traditional parties in Latin American democracies remain today as central actors that shape political processes. Others in fact have disappeared. The study and analysis of the electoral and internal dynam¬ics of parties that survive and those that disappear, in particular in the presence of environmental challenges, sheds new light on the factors that explain the different possible outcomes. The question that guides the book is the follow¬ing: are some parties better suited to respond to economic, political and social challenges? The answer is affirmative. It states that the internal structure of parties matters. It mediates the effects that environmental challenges cause on parties. Some structures are less suitable to efficiently respond to those diffi¬culties, while others allow parties to adapt and survive in new contexts.

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Biografía del autor

LAURA WILLS-OTERO PhD in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh (2010). She is Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science in Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her research interests focus on political parties and elections, institutional design and electoral systems, and subnational politics, among others. She studies these topics in Latin American countries and particularly in Colombia. She has published her work in Party Politics; Latin American Research Review (forthcoming); Latin American Politics and Society; Journal of Politics in Latin America, and has also written book chapters.

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