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.
Taylor C. Boas (Boston University)
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
17 March 2016
Professional and scholarly
1. Success contagion and presidential campaigns in Latin America; 2. Convergence on a personalistic strategy in Chile; 3. Convergence on a technocratic strategy in Brazil; 4. Limited contagion and inward-oriented reactions in Peru; 5. Success contagion and presidential campaigns in comparative perspective; Appendix A. Methodology for the content analysis of television advertising; Appendix B. Coding instructions for reliability testing; Appendix C. Coding sheet for reliability testing.
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
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