This study, first published in 2002, explores legislative politics in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. Instead of beginning with an assumption that these legislatures are either rubber-stamps or obstructionist bodies, the chapters provide interesting data and a fresh analytical approach to describe and explain the role of these representative bodies in these consolidating democracies. For each country the book provides three chapters dedicated, in turn, to executive-legislative relations, the legislatures' organizational structure, and the policy process. The analytical focus of each section, however remains the same: the role of institutional factors (including the allocation of policy-making authority between the executive and legislative branches of government, the number of relevant parties in the legislature, and the structure of electoral incentives) in shaping the patterns of legislative behavior.
• Analyses an aspect of politics that has been much neglected in the study of transition and consolidation of democracy in Latin America • Incorporates recent developments in political science such as 'new institutionalism' to the comparative study of legislatures in Latin America • Identifies the institutional incentives and restraints moulding the role of the legislature in four presidential regimes of Latin America
Tables and figures; Contributors; preface and acknowledgements; Party names and other acronyms and abbreviations; 1. Towards a model of Latin American legislatures Scott Morgenstern; Part I. Executive-Legislative Relations: 2. Oscillating relations: president and congress in Argentina Anna María Mustapic; 3. Presidential cabinets, electoral cycles and coalition discipline in Brazil Octavio Amorim Neto; 4. Exaggerated presidentialism and moderate presidents: executive-legislative relations in Chile Peter M. Siavelis; 5. Executive-legislative relations: the case of Mexico (1946–97) Ma. Amparo Casar; Part II. Political Parties and Legislative Structure: 6. Explaining the high level of party discipline in the Argentine congress Mark P. Jones; 7. Party discipline in the chamber of deputies Barry Ames; 8. Parties, coalitions and the Chilean congress in the 1990s John M. Carey; 9. Understanding party discipline in the Mexican chamber of deputies: the centralized party model Benito Nacif; Part III. Legislatures and the Policy Process: 10. Fiscal policy making in the Argentine legislature Kent H. Eaton; 11. Progressive ambition, federalism and pork-barreling in Brazil David Samuels; 12. Appointment, re-election and autonomy in the senate of Chile John Londregan; 13. The legal and partisan framework of the legislative delegation of the budget in Mexico Jeffrey A. Weldon; Part IV. Conclusions: 14. Explaining legislative politics in Latin America Scott Morgenstern; 15. Epilogue: Latin America's reactive assemblies and proactive presidents Gary W. Cox and Scott Morgenstern; References; Author index; General index.
'This book is essential reading for specialists in legislative studies.' Journal of Legislative Studies
'… richness and the detail of all twelve country-specific chapters cannot be summarised in this brief review … a thorough analysis … The structure of the book constitutes a unique and effective 'research design' … this is an excellent work … Cambridge University Press wisely chose to make a paperback version available, and I have successfully used the volume in an upper division undergraduate course on Latin American politics and have assigned it to my graduate students in a variety of courses.' Journal of Latin American Studies
'Legislative Politics in Latin America is an important work of reference that will be of value to researchers and postgraduates …' Latin American Review of Books