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Voting Amid Violence
Electoral Democracy in Colombia
Steven L. Taylor

Northeastern Series on Democratization and Political Development

2009 • 232 pp. 51 illus. 6 x 9"
Political Science & Government / Latin American & Caribbean Studies

$30.00 Hardcover, 978-1-55553-698-5

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... [continued in Reviews below]”—Choice

Timely lessons from Colombia on the coexistence of civil democracy and political violence in the context of international affairs and institutional reform

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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Reviews / Endorsements

“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

"As both a long-standing electoral democracy and a major recipient of US aid, Colombia deserves to be far better understood by academics, politicians, the media, and the public than is the case. Taylor's overview of the evolution of Colombian democracy reaches a cautiously optimistic conclusion: recent reforms have opened up the Colombian electoral process to wider citizen participation, which, in turn, is a crucial prerequisite to any resolution of the country's deep social problems. Taylor's book is the best in many years on this important country’s politics.”—Matthew S. Shugart, Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego

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

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 17:01:16 -0500