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By David Samuels

This publication explores the translation of politicians' occupation ambitions. individuals search to win repeated reelection, within the U.S. apartment of Representatives and political scientists have assumed that reelection motivates politicians all over. notwithstanding, politicians in Brazil see the nationwide legislature as a stepping-stone to "higher" place of work, in nation and/or neighborhood executive. Making the fitting assumption approximately politicians' profession objectives ends up in a greater figuring out of the political techniques. This ebook improves on prior "rational selection" analyses by way of discovering political profession ambitions and exploring real-world implications.

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Thus the key to why the opportunity structure in Brazil has not changed so that congressional careers are relatively more important lies both in the persistence of federalism as a defining political cleavage and in the lack of clear nationalized political-partisan cleavages. unstable regimes + persistent federalism = stable preferences? The macrohistorical story tells one side of the careerism coin. Historical factors have shaped the Brazilian opportunity structure, and given this picture, we have good reason to believe that politicians would value subnational positions highly, and less reason to believe they would value a career in a national party or in the national legislature.

Politicians clearly value the position of governor more than state secretary, state secretary more than state deputy, senator more than federal deputy, and minister more than federal deputy. Deputies also report that the benefits of a state secretariat or of serving as mayor are greater than of being federal deputy. Indeed, not one deputy interviewed stated that the benefits for being in the Chamber exceeded those for being in the state or municipal executive. As for costs, running for federal deputy appears expensive, but it costs less than running for any other elective office except state deputy (excluding the possibility that deputies run for mayor of tiny towns), and in any case many politicians may run for federal deputy simply to place themselves among the available candidates for an appointed position in either the national or state level executive branch.

45 The absence of such national cleavages has meant that statebased elites have lacked strong incentives to form strong national party organizations. That is to say, although parties may be cohesive on the floor of the legislature (Figueiredo and Limongi 2000a), this cohesiveness does not result from deputies’ recognition of a nationally shared electoral fate, a` la Cox (1987) or Cox and McCubbins (1993) or from some form of top-down imposition, as in pre-1999 Venezuela’s parties (Coppedge 1994; Crisp 1999) or the pre-2000 PRI in Mexico (Weldon 1997).

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