n Electoral Laws and the Survival of Presidential Democracies political scientist Mark P. Jones addresses the conditions necessary for the survival of democratic presidential systems, arguing that the electoral laws employed by such systems are intricately linked to the longevity of democracy. Throughout the book Jones's focus is on the most realistic and feasible mechanism for facilitating the proper functioning and survival of democratic presidential systems: electoral law reform. In order to demonstrate the importance of a strong presidential legislative contingent for the successful functioning of democratic presidential government, Jones structures his argument into two parts. He first employs a review of the relevant literature plus a multitiered set of empirical analyses of Latin American presidential systems. Maintaining that certain electoral laws are more compatible with the successful functioning of democratic presidential systems than others, Jones then offers an examination of electoral data and examples from two separate populations: 16 Latin American presidential democracies and 23 Argentine provincial (gubernatorial) systems. Jones uses these data as evidence to support his argument that presidential systems that consistently fail to provide their president with adequate legislative support are inherently unstable and ineffective.
Mark P. Jones holds the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies at Rice University.