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Teoria & Sociedade

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SANTOS, André Marenco dos. Comparing houses of representatives: parliamentary recruitment in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.Translated byVera Alice Cardoso Silva. Teor. soc. [online]. 2006, vol.2Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1518-4471.

The essay aims at comparing differences in patterns of parliamentary recruitment for federal legislatures in Latin American countries. Those patterns as well as the political performance of state delegations were analyzed from the viewpoint of levels of stability in the control of seats.  The Chilean House of Representatives is the case presenting the highest level of stable political careers in a context of moderate political turnover.. By contrast, Mexico and Argentina present high rates of political turnover among elected representatives, a condition facilitating the access of politicians lacking previous experience at the federal sphere of politics. Brazil is a intermediary case, displaying long periods of high rates of turnover, followed by reversals of such trend, as it occurs since 1998. When changes in the composition of party representation in federal legislatures resulting from voter's behavior are discarded, one may conclude that, with the exception of Chile, the high rates of political turnover are only marginally connected with electoral variations among the competing parties. Intra-party politics determining strategies for choosing and promoting candidates appear to be the most relevant variable  explaining rates of parliamentary turnover.

Keywords : Houses of Representatives; parliamentary recruitment; political parties; political careers; parliamentary turnover.

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