Paula Clerici

Political Science


Peer-reviewed articles

When will legislators assigned to the same committee cooperate with each other? In federal presidential regimes, both the President and governors demand policy answers from members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Legislators’ preferences sometimes coincide with those of the President and the governors of their home states; on other occasions, they only align with the preferences of the President or the state governor; and, finally, at times preferences align with neither. In this paper, I analyse the committee system of a multi-party and multi-level legislature and test the partisan and territorial determinants of committee collaboration. My theory elucidates the inner workings of committee systems with competing principals and multiple parties to explain why we observe more active collaboration among supporters of the President and less active collaboration among those only aligned with the governor or with the opposition. I exemplify with the Argentine House of Representatives (1993–2017). (Go to the article)

In federal presidential democracies, discretionary transfers are often mentioned as a tool used by the national executive to build and strengthen subnational support, typically governors. Funds to local mayors, however, have been much less studied. With original data, in this study we analyze the distribution of a particular discretionary transfer (ATN) to the Argentine municipalities during two periods: 1997–2000 and 2016–2019. We show that the main driver for transfers is the mayor’s political alignment. Indeed, the president is more likely to reward loyal mayors, but especially when both the latter and the President oppose the provincial governor. By this token, we highlight a nested political game, in which the President considers the loyalty of both mayors and governors combined to decide when to reward (or when not to reward) municipalities. Furthermore, we find that the Executive provides aid to smaller municipalities to circumvent the possibility of funding mayors from larger cities who may pose a threat as political rivals in the future. Since this pattern is more evident in localities with aligned mayors, we can infer that the President’s strategy is aimed at preventing future challengers from within their own coalition. (Go to the article)

The composition of cabinets under presidential regimes has constituted one of the top topics of the litterature in political science in recent years. However, nothing has been said about the proper size of those cabinets. That is, why some cabinets are 37 ministers large when other is formed by just 13 members? We carry on a theory of cabinet size under presidential regimes, using insights from both parliamentarist and presidentialist literature. Our model is composed of five hypotheses relying on an original dataset of 161 observations across 19 presidential countries of the Americas. Our main finding is that the inclusion of independents and/or technocrats impacts significantly on lowering caninets’ size. (Go to the article)

What factors impact on the productivity of legislators? In this paper, we argue that legislative productivity depends not only on party affiliation, seniority, gender, and other contextual considerations (e.g., alignment with the executive), as previous studies have shown, but also on the connections between legislators. Our main argument is that legislators’ effectiveness in getting their proposals approved by the chamber depends on their centrality in the cosponsorship network. Unlike previous studies of Latin American legislatures, which usually consider bills as the unit of analysis, we focus on legislators and their individual records. We consider individual productivity as the number of authored bills approved by the chamber in a two-year congress. To test our hypothesis, we use data from the Argentine Chamber of Deputies from 1983 to 2019. (Go to the article)

Why do legislators switch their votes between the committee and floor stages in multiparty presidential systems? The literature on the US Congress has argued that switches are conditional on cross-cutting pressures by competing principals (i.e., party leaders and interest groups), partisanship, electoral competitiveness, ideology, seniority, and informational updates. This article argues that unlike in the US two-party system, in multiparty systems electoral competitiveness increases the likelihood of switching. Additionally, the practice of switching is more likely for legislators whose competing principals are leaders with conflicting electoral interests. We test these hypotheses analyzing vote switches between committee reports and roll-call votes in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies. Our results indicate that legislative vote switching indeed behaves differently in multiparty than in a two-party presidential system. (Go to the article)

The conventional understanding in the scholarly literature is that the main dimension that sets legislators’ ideal points is the tension between the government and the opposition parties. In this article, I challenge this claim, demonstrating that this alignment is contingent on the level of party system nationalization. These consequences have not been fully documented. Using DW-NOMINATE to calculate Argentine legislators’ ideal points (1983-2017), I show that individual territorialization in roll call voting increases when the party system is more decentralized. Legislators are closer to their provincial delegation, irrespective of which party they belong to, when there are low levels of party nationalization. At the individual level, this mechanism may be understood by the competing principals’ theory: because party system decentralization implies a response to local dynamics over national dynamics, cross-pressured legislators may favor their subnational principal. (Go to the article)

Beginning in December 2019 and still ongoing, the world’s science, culture, and politics began to produce previously unimaginable daily quantities of data to understand the nature of covid-19 and its effects on our lives. These collective efforts represent a change in the quality and quantity of what it is being produced and published. This allows us to observe the covid-19 shock based on a variety of clinical, social, and economic data published with unthinkable speed. The objective of this article is to understand the relationship between information and political science in the current context, describe the agendas generated by the covid-19 crisis, and discuss how professional demands promise to accelerate new forms of collaboration in political science, the collaboration with other disciplines, as well as the inequalities that this change generates. (Go to the article)

Opposition minorities are often overlooked in presidential regimes, as they seem to lack the political clout to affect legislative outcomes. In this article, I challenge this claim, proving that opposition minorities play a significant role in the amendment and approval of executive initiatives at the committee stage. Using an original dataset that records legislators’ positions on politically relevant committee reports in Argentina (1983–2017), I show that opposition legislators frequently contribute to the president’s success in committee. This collaboration increases in more denationalised political contexts and for legislators aligned with the party of the provincial executive. (Go to the article)

Does a competitive primary generate a damage to parties? Literature emphasizes that the electoral effect could be negative in the Latin American party system. Here we show that a competitive primary affect parties negatively because they lose considerable voters in between the two elections. When factional competition generates friction among candidates, leaders and militants, a negative impact occurs within the political space. This results in the possibility that the candidate who wins the primary receives “friendly fire”. (Go to the article)

In this article, we introduce readers to a new concept, Executive Decoupling, which describes a statistical decline in the capacity of the Executive to modify existing legislation by decree. In contrast with Bureaucratic Delegation models, which consider legislative encroachment by the Executive as a contextual event and the result of conflict among the different branches of the government, we show that increased statutory density restrains the ability of the Executive to legislate by decree. The motive is an increase in interdependence between legislative jurisdictions, some of which connect with issues that are restricted to the President. As the citation network of existing legislation expands, increased interdependence between jurisdictions prevents the executive from innovating in contiguous normative issue areas. (Go to the article)

¿Tienen las alianzas electorales un efecto sobre el comportamiento de los legisladores en las comisiones permanentes del Congreso? En este artículo se muestra que no existe evidencia estadísticamente significativa acerca de que compromisos electorales que llevaron a la elección de un diputado se traduzcan en apoyos legislativos a la agenda de política pública propuesta por el Ejecutivo nacional.  Mediante un análisis de cómo dictaminan los diputados oficialistas argentinos en comisión, se encuentra que el apoyo a proyectos del Ejecutivo es explicado por variables institucionales, como la pertenencia a un (inter)bloque o el calendario electoral, y por variables contextuales, como el apoyo que un presidente tiene en la opinión pública. (Go to the article)

Recent studies have concluded that the electoral calendar and the nationalization of the party system are causal influences on the congruence of electoral coalitions. However, there is an important difference between ruling party and opposition. The fact that the government has constant exposure to the electorate, controls public resources, is able to “discipline” the governors, and enjoys the possibility of cartelizing the legislative power, all these factors places the party in a favorable position to have a more congruent electoral coalition strategy. For these same reasons, but on the contrary, opposition tends to fragment and, therefore, their coalitions will tend to reflect local and differentiated scenarios. This research finds that in Argentina between 1983 and 2013, the electoral calendar and the nationalization of the party system do not alter the level of ruling party’s electoral coalition congruence. They only generate a causal impact on the opposition. (Go to the article)

Integration between different levels of party organizations has important consequences for the functioning of the multilevel political system. Electoral coalitions is one of the elements in which it is possible to demonstrate party integration. When local party structures have autonomy to build their own electoral coalitions for national legislative office, party allies may differ from those with which the national party structure develops coalition for the presidency competition.  This article finds evidence that the degree of coalition congruence of Argentinean parties has decreased between 1983 and 2013 in the competition for the seats of National Representative Chamber. We conclude that when the election of President takes place concurrently with the National Deputies, party coalition congruence between different districts, it tends to increase. The same happens when the party system is more nationalized. (Go to the article)

Electoral coalitions have become more relevant in Argentinean party system in the last thirty
years. Their role gained visibility together with territorialization process, specially, around Unión Cívica
Radical (UCR) and Partido Justicialista (PJ) parties as pivots. This article analyzes UCR and PJ’s congruence electoral coalitions quantitatively between 1983 and 2013. In this sense, it is possible to highlight two conclusions. First, electoral coalition level congruence within the districts for local elections is higher compared to national executive-legislative branches elections. Second, national dynamic for electoral coalition formation breaks when parties face internal fragmentation. (Go to the article)

La discusión en torno al efecto de las elecciones primarias sobre los partidos divide a la literatura entre los que sostienen que sin importar el resultado interno, los votos del candidato perdedor se trasladan masivamente a votar luego por el ganador de la contienda, y quienes destacan que si la disputa al interior del partido/coalición se traslada a una interna competitiva, el candidato que pierde no juega para su equipo con el consecuente impacto de que el partido encuentra disminuidas las chances de ganar la elección general. A través de un modelo estadístico, en este trabajo se muestra que primarias con mayor número de listas y con mayor competitividad entre facciones reducen el voto que una coalición obtiene en la elección general. El estudio analiza la política electoral de los municipios de la Provincia de Buenos Aires y destaca que las primarias no sólo tienen efectos en las decisiones internas de selección de candidatos de los partidos sino que, a su vez, afectan el rendimiento electoral de las coaliciones. Este resultado es particularmente importante para pensar en las estrategias electorales cuando el juego tiene más de un turno. (Go to the article)

This article presents a study on the consistency of the electoral alliances in Argentina between 1983 and 2011. From two actions: first, locating empirically the phenomenon; and second, knowing the level of consistency that the parties have had in their alliance policy in the different electoral processes that occurred during the period. The proposal devotes a special section to the Justicialist Party (PJ) and the Radical Civic Union (ucr) for their systemic importance. (Go to the article)

Las alianzas electorales son producto de cálculos estratégicos que los partidos realizan para enfrentar elecciones de cargos, y como tantas otras decisiones alrededor de las campañas y los comicios, las coaliciones electorales se enfocan en la consecución de maximizar votos, bancas, afiliados y/o financiamiento, y lograr la supervivencia política de las organizaciones. El presente estudio de carácter descriptivo realiza un aporte empírico concreto dimensionando la importancia cada vez mayor de las alianzas electorales en Argentina cubriendo el período de los 30 años de democracia desde la transición en 1983. El rol protagónico de las alianzas electorales tiene lugar en un sistema de partidos que viene mostrando claros signos de territorialización de la competencia partidaria. (Go to the article)

Son numerosos los factores que inciden sobre el nivel de nacionalización de los partidos y de la integración en sentido vertical de las organizaciones partidarias. Entre ellos, poca atención se ha prestado hasta ahora al marco normativo que regula la conformación de las alianzas electorales. En este artículo se ofrece un análisis comparativo de los diferentes modos en los que los países latinoamericanos regulan la constitución de alianzas electorales, observando cómo los diferentes marcos normativos impactan sobre el balance de poder entre el nivel nacional y sub-nacional de los partidos, y por lo tanto en los niveles de nacionalización y de integración vertical. Para ello se desarrolla el concepto de congruencia de las alianzas, aspecto que se observa a partir de tres dimensiones. Ello permite clasificar a los países latinoamericanos en cuatro grupos principales, según su normativa sobre alianzas electorales incentive en mayor o menor medida la nacionalización e integración vertical de los partidos. (Go to the article)

La política de alianzas electorales es un elemento estratégico de los partidos para obtener votos y cargos. Además de estar facultados para armar sus propias alianzas para competir por cargos provinciales, los partidos subnacionales en Argentina pueden efectuar alianzas para cargos legislativos nacionales independientemente de las alianzas que sus mismas estructuras a nivel nacional realicen para competir por la presidencia. El presente trabajo tiene el propósito de realizar una revisión de las literaturas que resultan útiles para estudiar las alianzas electorales en sistemas presidencialistas multinivel, señalando asimismo, los posibles interrogantes que se plantean al pensar causalmente las alianzas cruzadas. (Go to the article)

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