Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia

Overview

Despite endemic political violence, Colombia has one of the oldest electoral democracies in the Western Hemisphere. In this long-awaited, indispensable study, author Steven L. Taylor argues that an understanding of Colombia’s political development requires understanding the evolution of its political parties and its electoral rules. This book deals both with the specifics of Colombia and with questions concerning how electoral reform and institutional change interact with the behavior of political actors. ...
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Overview

Despite endemic political violence, Colombia has one of the oldest electoral democracies in the Western Hemisphere. In this long-awaited, indispensable study, author Steven L. Taylor argues that an understanding of Colombia’s political development requires understanding the evolution of its political parties and its electoral rules. This book deals both with the specifics of Colombia and with questions concerning how electoral reform and institutional change interact with the behavior of political actors. Taylor’s argument holds clear and broader implications for the study of civil democracy in an atmosphere of political violence around the world today, and they have never been more relevant.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“As Taylor correctly argues, Colombia has been understudied within Latin American politics—despite the country’s size and importance to the US. This concise, clearly written work seeks to rectify this situation. . . . Taylor goes into particular detail on recent institutional changes concerning the electoral system, the ballot structure, and the selection and powers of the president, and their effects on the transformation of Colombia’s party system. These chapters, which are the core of the book, are important for all scholars of electoral and party systems . . . This is definitely a valuable work . . . Highly recommended.” —Choice

“Steven Taylor’s book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on Colombian politics and its beleaguered democracy. This work is timely and brings context to the challenges that the country’s institutions are confronting . . . the . . . chapters are detailed, provocative, and well chosen in terms of their foci and coverage.” —Political Science Quarterly

"This is an exceptionally thoughtful and well-written book, a worthy addition to the corpus of serious political analysis of the Colombian political regime." —The Journal of the Review of Politics

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Product Details

Meet the Author

STEVEN L. TAYLOR is associate professor of Political Science at Troy University and is an expert on Colombian politics.
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Table of Contents

List of Tables, Figures, and Boxes
Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
An Introduction to Colombia
Colombian Democracy
Cartas de Batalla
Rethinking the Traditional Parties
Parties: Reform and Adaptation
Parties, Rules, and Strategic Choices
The Pernicious Nature of Colombian Political Violence
The State of Colombia (Evaluations and Conclusions)
Afterword
Appendixes
The Evolution of the Ballot in Colombia
Notes on Electoral Data
Notes
References
Index
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