TROY professor publishes book on Colombian politics

Posted: Friday, 01 May 2009

TROY – Troy University political scientist Dr. Steven Taylor examines civil democracy amid political violence in a new book published by Northeastern University Press.

“Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia” looks at Colombia, South America’s political development.

“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 said. “The book’s argument holds clear and broader implications for the study of civil democracy in an atmosphere of political violence around the world today.”

Colombia has one of the oldest electoral democracies in the Western Hemisphere, and the study looks at the evolution of its political parties and its electoral rules.

“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,” said Dr. Matthew S. Shugart, professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego.

“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,” he said.