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Mainwaring Organizes Book Conference on Party Systems

June 9, 2014

Party SystemsAn international research conference held at the Kellogg Institute June 2–3 will result in a new book, says Faculty Fellow Scott Mainwaring, who organized the conference, “Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse.”

“The conference brought together outstanding scholars from the US, UK, and Latin America to engage in two days of intensive discussion about Latin American party systems,” says Mainwaring.

“I look forward to producing a volume, based mainly on the conference papers, that will be the sequel to Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America, which [Faculty Fellow] Tim Scully and I published in 1995.”

Building on that influential volume, the conference explored party system institutionalization, decay, and collapse, alternatives that Mainwaring calls “central to the fate of democracy.”

Conference presenters attempted to explain the remarkable diversity of pathways Latin American party systems have taken since the 1990s, taking advantage of new literature and data—systematic cross‐national public opinion surveys and elite congressional surveys—that allow more precise analysis of the connections between voters, parties, and their positions.

The conference featured two kinds of papers: six focused on the region’s most populous countries, exemplifying broad patterns of institutional evolution, and three focused on overarching comparative themes.

Participants included distinguished outside scholars, several of whom had previously been Kellogg visiting fellows and/or Institute-affiliated graduate students, as well as Kellogg faculty fellows and PhD fellows.  (For a complete list of participants, click here.)

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