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This article provides a theoretical framework for analyzing the recruitment and selection of legislative candidates in Latin America. It argues that political recruitment and candidate selection are undertheorized for Latin America yet have determinative impacts on political systems, often overriding the influence of more commonly studied institutional variables. The article elucidates a typology of legislative candidates based on the legal and party variables that lead to the emergence of particular selection methods, as well as the patterns of loyalty generated by those methods. It analyzes the recruitment and selection processes as independent and dependent variables, underscoring the significant effect these procedures have on the incentive structure and subsequent behavior of legislators. Those factors, in turn, have important consequences for democratic governability and the performance of presidentialism.
Are politics local? Why? Where? When? How do we measure local versus national politics? And what are the effects? This book provides answers to these questions, within an explicitly comparative framework, including both advanced and developing democracies. It does so by using a statistically-based and graphical account of party nationalization, providing methodology and data for legislative elections covering scores of parties across dozens of countries. The book divides party nationalization into two dimensions - static and dynamic - to capture different aspects of localism, both with important implications for representation. Static nationalization measures the consistency in a party's support across the country and thus shows whether parties are able to encompass local concerns into their platforms. Dynamic nationalization, in turn, measures the consistency among the districts in over-time change in electoral results, under the presumption that where districts differ in their electoral responses, local factors must drive politics. Each of the two dimensions, in sum, considers representation from the perspective of the mix of national versus local politics.