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date: 05 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter brings together different strands of literature to, first, analyse the procedures and pathways followed for the selection of chief executives in democratic regimes with directly elected presidents; and, second, the attributes of those who are elected. Presidential elections are an electorally challenging and politically strategic contest shaped by different institutional, partisan, and contextual factors. We show that the parties’ and candidates’ moves in the selection process particularly depend on whether it occurs in one or in several stages and on which selection method is used. We identify candidate-centered and party-centered nominations as well as situations of self-recruitment. We analyse how the interaction of legal and party variables explain different outcomes in terms of candidate profile. Three distinctive aspects are highlighted in the literature when we come to presidential profiles: the extent to which the candidate is a party-loyal person; what kind of previous political experience he or she has; and what his or her typical social background is.

Keywords: presidential election, nomination, presidential profiles, executive politics, democratic regimes

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