Comparable survey data from Norway, Sweden and the United States are used to examine trends in political trust for the period 1964-86. During the early part of that period trust declined in all three countries; later it recovered for Norway but continued to plummet in Sweden and the United States. Three major features of the party system are hypothesized to explain the difference in these trends for the three countries. These features are: the structural aspects of the party system; the public's cognitive judgements of the parties as representatives of the policy interests; and the possibility that a negative rejection of political parties as undesirable institutions may spill over to citizen evaluations of government more generally. One major finding is that political discontent in Norway was reduced because new parties provided the disaffected with a means of representation, thus channelling dissatisfaction back into the electoral arena. In Sweden and the United States, which have more rigid party systems, accumulating dissatisfaction was directed at the regime more generally because many people failed to see any of the parties as a viable alternative.
Japan uses simple plurality elections with multi-member districts to elect its lower house. This system tends to produce competition among n + 1 candidates per district. This 'law of simple plurality elections' is a structural generalization akin to Duverger's Law. Evidence from Japan also indicates that the causal mechanism behind this 'law' is not strategic voting, although strategic voting occurs, but elite coalition building. It is further argued that the connection between structure and behaviour is learning and not rationality. Equilibria are reached slowly through trial and error processes. Once reached, the equilibrium is unstable because parties and candidates try to change it. Even without rational actors and stable equilibria, however, this structural generalization accurately describes the dynamics of electoral competition at the district level in Japan.
The case for secrecy in voting depends on the assumption that voters reliably vote for the political outcomes they want to prevail. No such assumption is valid. Accordingly, voting procedures should be designed to provide maximal incentive for voters to vote responsibly. Secret voting fails this test because citizens are protected from public scrutiny. Under open voting, citizens are publicly answerable for their electoral choices and will be encouraged thereby to vote in a discursively defensible manner. The possibility of bribery, intimidation or blackmail moderates this argument but such dangers will be avoidable in many contemporary societies without recourse to secrecy.
Recently, Sanders et al. have made the intriguing and counter-intuitive argument that the impact of the Falklands war on Conservative popularity was inconsequential. Their analyses raise important theoretical and methodological issues concerning the time-series analysis of party support. This present article contends that the stepwise regression procedures employed by Sanders et al. are misleading, particularly when predictor variables are highly intercorrelated. Box-Jenkins analyses demonstrate that the Falklands strongly influenced Conservative support, net of the effects of macroeconomic conditions and personal economic expectations. The significance of the latter variable in the models confirms Sanders et al.'s argument about the role of subjective economic variables in party popularity functions. Non-economic variables are also relevant, however, and popularity functions that model them correctly will enhance our understanding of both the economics and the politics of party support.
A new model of government formation is elaborated and developed to allow consideration of politics within political parties. The impact of coalition bargaining on intraparty politics is considered, as well as the impact of intraparty politics on coalition bargaining. Different intraparty decision-making regimes are shown to affect coalition outcomes. Finally, the potential impact of anticipated coalition bargaining on the choice of decision-making regime within a party is explored.
This article reviews the range of explanations which have been proposed for voting behaviour in the US elections won by Ronald Reagan and develops a comprehensive model for the evolution of electoral choices in both of those contests. Estimates are provided for both the direct and indirect effects of several types of variables or 'explanatory themes', and those estimates are used to assess the relative importance of each of those themes in explaining individual-level choices and the aggregate outcomes of both Reagan elections. These procedures suggest that preferences concerning both policy direction and evaluations of national and presidential performance played major roles in the two Reagan elections - both in the individual-level decisions and in producing the Republicans' aggregate victories.
Discussions of international and of gender justice both legitimately demand that principles of justice abstract from differences between cases and that judgements of justice respond to differences between them. Abstraction and sensitivity to context are often treated as incompatible: abstraction is taken to endorse idealized models of individual and state; sensitivity to human differences is identified with relativism. Neither identification is convincing: abstract principles do not entail uniform treatment; responsiveness to difference does not hinge on relativism. These points are used to criticize discussions of international and gender justice by liberals, communitarians and feminists. An alternative account of justice is sketched, which combines abstract principles with consideration of human differences in the application of principles. The case of poor women in impoverished economies - a hard case both for gender and for international justice - illustrates how universal, abstract principles of justice may not only permit but mandate differentiated application.
The furore that followed the publication of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses has provided a graphic illustration of the conflicts that may still arise in societies characterized by diverse religious beliefs. This article examines how far the rules governing a plural society should require its members to defer to beliefs that they themselves do not share. In particular, it examines whether a principle of 'respect for beliefs' can provide adequate reason for limiting freedom of expression. A strong version of the principle, which would limit substantive criticism of beliefs, is found untenable. A weaker version of the principle, which would concern itself not with the matter but with the manner in which others' beliefs are treated, has greater plausibility and moral appeal. That also, however, proves too hazardous and indeterminate a basis for setting legal limits to freedom of expression.
Although students of American political economy argue that the United States has no industrial policy, this view misses entirely the recent emergence of industrial policies at the state level. An examination of twenty states that have written strategic economic development plans shows that in varying degrees state industrial policies resemble the national industrial policies of France and Japan both in terms of the structure of the underlying economic plans and in their programmatic emphasis. On the basis of the evidence here it is reasonable to conclude that the American taste and capacity for planned intervention and state participation in the market economy is far greater than might be supposed from an exclusive focus on national economic policy making.
Liberal institutions (freedom of speech and religious worship, for example) will naturally be supported by liberals - that is to say, those with a liberal outlook. But what arguments can be addressed to non-liberals? There are some traditional arguments but these are too limited in scope to provide a general justification for liberal institutions. A recent argument that claims to do the job is to the effect that justice entails neutrality and neutrality entails liberal institutions. However, neutrality is a principle that could appeal to non-liberals only if they had already swallowed a large dose of liberalism, since it requires that they regard their deepest convictions as preferences or personal opinions. It is also doubtful whether liberals are well advised to embrace neutrality.
Political life in the advanced industrial democracies since the Second World War has been characterized by periods of mass mobilization and protest followed by years of relative quiescence and institutional dominance. The individual phases have prompted extensive reflection. Far less attention, however, has been devoted to how developments in one phase might influence the subsequent one. Using data from a 1979 survey of activists of the Italian Communist Party, this article examines how the cycle of protest which swept Italy in the late-1960s and early-1970s was reflected in the distribution of attitudes towards dissent within the different generations of party activists. Our findings clearly suggest that participation in social movements had independent effects on the presence of particular tolerance attitudes and that phases of mobilization affect the distribution of politically salient attitudes among party activists during a subsequent phase of institutionalization. This, in turn, has possible implications for processes of change in the Italian political system.
Using evidence from surveys of top administrators, we examine differences between Japanese and American administrative elites. Our findings are far more complex than the reigning stereotypes of an apolitical, technocratic and elitist Japanese bureaucracy contrasted to a politically charged, conflict-oriented and social-reformist American federal executive. For example, senior Japanese bureaucrats take political considerations into account, compared to technical ones, no less than top American officials. American administrators have a more negative view of the role of political parties than their Japanese counterparts and, on average, an equally negative view of politicians interfering in their work than the supposedly more elitist, autonomous and technocratic Japanese bureaucrats. The article closes with a discussion of why popular conceptions of the two bureaucracies break down in practice.