This 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.
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, Octávio Amorim Neto and Matthew Soberg Shugart; References; Index.
"...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." Brian F. Crisp and Maria C. Escobar-lemmon, Latin American Research Review