Political Institutions Democracy and Social Choice

Political Institutions

Uitgever: Oxford University Press

  • Engels
  • Paperback
  • 9780199241842
  • Druk: New title
  • juni 2003
  • 266 pagina's
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The role of institutions is to establish the domains of public activity and the rules to select leaders. Democratic regimes organize in simple institutional frameworks to foster the concentration of power and alternative successive absolute winners and losers. They favour political satisfaction of relatively small groups, as well as policy instability. In contrast, pluralistic institutions produce multiple winners, including multiparty co-operation and agreements. They favour stable, moderate, and consensual policies that can satisfy large groups' interests on a great number of issues. The more complex the political institutions, the more stable and socially efficient the outcome will be. This book develops an extensive analysis of this relationship. It explores concepts, questions and insights based on social choice theory, while empirical focus is cast on more than 40 democratic countries and a few international organizations from late medieval times to the present. The book argues that pluralistic democratic institutions are judged to be better than simple formula of their higher capacity of producing socially satisfactory results.


The author's erudition, along with his masterful application of social choice theory, make this book compulsory reading for students of comparative politics and constitutional law. * Mexico Politica y Gobierno * A well framed, well constructed, well documented and well argued book. * Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica * Compulsory reading for every professional of the social sciences, of political activity or public sphere and of decision-making in any field of economic and social life. * Revista Espanola de Ciencia Politica. * This book should attract a broad readership from different fields within political science...easily intelligible and thoroughly pleasant read. * Political Studies * A happy marriage of social choice theory with comparative politics, well worth reading, and including on syllabi . One strength is the author's knack for supplying historical material that illustrates the relevance of social choice theory to the study of political institutions. In this sense, Colomer's book follows in the tradition of William H. Riker's 'Liberalism Against Populism' (1982), although 'Political Institutions' is empirically richer, and much more accessible to a non-technical audience Colomer does this so well, with such a keen sense for how the basic intuitions from social choice theory map onto real-world politics, that Political Institutions should become a staple of reading lists on positive political theory and comparative politics. * American Political Science Review * Josep Colomer has produced a rigorous, accessible analysis of social choice in democratic settings. Its empirical scope is broad, its emphasis on institutions is crisp, and its arguments are persuasive. 'Political Institutions' graces Oxford UP's new series on comparative politics. * Kenneth Shepsle, Harvard University * Review from previous edition 'Political Institutions' is an outstanding contribution to the growing literature challenging the conventional wisdom that majoritarian, concentrated-power democracy provides the most 'decisive' and effective government. Instead, as Colomer's logical and empirical analysis convincingly demonstrates, sharing power and dividing power are much more advantageous. A first-rate scholarly achievement! * Arend Lijphart, University of California, San Diego *



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266 pagina's



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