By Hans Keman
This crucial new publication brings jointly international classification students to supply a totally new comparative politics textual content. It bargains a entire reivew of the whole democratic method and gives a framework for measuring and comparing modern democracy and democratic functionality around the globe.
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Extra resources for Comparative Democratic Politics: A Guide to Contemporary Theory and Research
E. , 2000), and encounter the obvious problem of an increased number of countries to be treated, with many more empirical research findings of potential relevance to be covered. g. g. qxd 2/8/02 2:17 PM Page 27 T H E D E V E L O P M E N T S T U D Y O F C O M P A R A T I V E P O L I T I C S 27 Butler, 1983; Pridham, 1986; Budge and Keman, 1990; Laver and Shepsle, 1994), parliaments (Wheare, 1963; von Beyme, 1970), electoral systems (Lijphart, 1993), parties in general (Sartori, 1976; von Beyme, 1985; Panebianco, 1988), particular party families, interest groups, bureaucratic structures, and so on.
The formal and informal rules of a democratic polity define the room to manoeuvre for each actor involved in policy-making as an interdependent process – for example, the division of a party system and the organization of a system of interest representation direct the modes of behaviour and the interactions between relevant actors (see, for this in particular, Chapter 8 in this book). At the same time this approach allows for the investigation of political actions as mitigated forms of (rational) self-interest, since the rule configurations have been developed by most of the participating actors themselves in order to regulate and contain conflicts among them in such a way as to make manageable and viable agreements (or structureinduced equilibriums) feasible.
Here voting behaviour is considered to be equivalent to market behaviour and is therefore conceivable as a supra-individual manifestation of social choice. Hence, aggregates of individual preferences determine political decisionmaking. In fact the Downsian approach of the political process is an – albeit sophisticated – elaboration of this idea. g. the type of electoral system and concurrently the way parties compete for office; Budge, 1993). In our view the institutionalization of political life – like the working of party systems or the relations between the executive and the legislative – is crucial for understanding the material and procedural performance of a political system (Heywood, 1997; see further Chapters 4 and 6 of this book).