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Presidential Campaigns in Latin America

Electoral Strategies and Success Contagion

Taylor C. Boas (Boston University)

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Cambridge University Press
17 May 2018
Elections & referenda; Political parties; Political manifestos; Political campaigning & advertising
How do presidential candidates in new democracies choose their campaign strategies, and what strategies do they adopt? In contrast to the claim that campaigns around the world are becoming more similar to one another, Taylor Boas argues that new democracies are likely to develop nationally specific approaches to electioneering through a process called success contagion. The theory of success contagion holds that the first elected president to complete a successful term in office establishes a national model of campaign strategy that other candidates will adopt in the future. He develops this argument for the cases of Chile, Brazil, and Peru, drawing on interviews with campaign strategists and content analysis of candidates' television advertising from the 1980s through 2011. The author concludes by testing the argument in ten other new democracies around the world, demonstrating substantial support for the theory.
By:   Taylor C. Boas (Boston University)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 230mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   420g
ISBN:   9781107578890
ISBN 10:   1107578892
Pages:   274
Publication Date:   17 May 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Taylor C. Boas is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston University and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana. His research examines various aspects of electoral politics and political behavior in Latin America, including campaigns, religion, and the mass media.

Reviews for Presidential Campaigns in Latin America: Electoral Strategies and Success Contagion

'The voluminous literature on democratization in Latin America has given relatively little attention to presidential campaigns, despite their centrality to the democratic process in the region. Taylor Boas addresses that shortcoming in this impressive book. His analysis provides new insights into the strategic behavior of presidential candidates, party organizations, and professional campaign managers and consultants, and it demonstrates how these actors craft technocratic, populist, personalist, and programmatic appeals to voters. This book is a major contribution to the scholarship on democratic representation in contemporary Latin America.' Kenneth M. Roberts, Cornell University 'Presidential Campaigns in Latin America is an innovative and important work on presidential campaign strategies in contemporary Latin America. Taylor Boas's book marks an important effort to explain how and why campaign strategies evolve over time. His argument centers on the emulation of campaign strategies by successful presidents and the non-emulation of campaign strategies of unsuccessful presidents. The research is based on high-quality fieldwork in Chile, Brazil, and Peru.' Scott Mainwaring, Eugene and Helen Conley Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame


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