AdvisorCrisp, Brian F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractEmpirical research on political parties has shed light on many aspects of party organization and behavior. Unfortunately, there is a great deal that we do not know about small parties, especially in presidential systems. I take a two-pronged approach to studying small parties in Latin America's presidential regimes. First, I examine the factors that impact the election of small parties across Latin America's democratic regimes from 1980 to 1998, accounting for both institutional and cultural factors. Next, I move toward an examination of the representation and governance roles that small parties play in three carefully selected presidential democracies: Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela. Since small parties are rarely studied, it is unclear what, if any, impact they have on the representativeness of the political system. Small parties may act as promoters of new policies which reside outside the boundaries of traditionally dominant parties. This may mean identifying with issues that are important to those sectors of society that have been ignored (e.g. minority rights) or representing new issues that cut across sectors of society (e.g. decentralization). Alternatively, they may promote mainstream issues, or they may have no substantive policy import (acting primarily as personalistic vehicles). With respect to governance roles, they may play an important supportive role in major party coalitions. Indeed, their coalition behavior may substantively impact the legitimacy of the system by supporting minority governments.
Degree ProgramGraduate College