This article presents the results of the first Deliberative Poll, in which a national British sample discussed the issue of rising crime and what to do about it. We describe Deliberative Polling and its rationale, the representativeness of the deliberative sample, the extent to which the participants acquired factual information about the issue and about politics generally, and how much and how they changed their views. We also weigh the extent to which such changes of view hinge on small group influences versus information gains.
Why is government corruption more pervasive in some societies than in others? In this article we examine public choice explanations that attribute corruption to a lack of competition in either political or economic arenas or both. The principal part of our analysis draws on recently-published data about levels of corruption for a broad cross-section of countries reported for the early 1980s. We supplement this with an additional analysis of a second dataset on corruption measured during the late 1980s. Our analyses confirm that political competition affects level of corruption, but this effect is nonlinear. Corruption is typically lower in dictatorships than in countries that have partially democratized. But once past a threshold, democratic practices inhibit corruption. However, we obtained mixed results with respect to the relationship of economic competition and corruption: government size does not systematically affect corruption, but membership of the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) does. Finally, corruption is more pervasive in low-income countries which tend to underpay public sector employees.
In the last quarter of the twentieth century something transformed government across the advanced capitalist world, and a large amount of comparative political enquiry is now concerned with pinning a convincing label on that transformation. Of the many candidates the subject of this review article has proved especially popular. As I will show, a regulatory state is now commonly said to exist in a wide range of geographical and institutional settings: writers speak of a regulatory state in the United States and in Britain; of the European regulatory state; and even of refinements like 'a regulatory state inside the state'.
Theorists such as Carole Pateman and Benjamin Barber suggest that democratic participation will engage citizens and lead them to have more positive regard for political processes and democratic practices. The American states provide a setting where provisions for direct voter participation in legislation vary substantially. If participatory institutions have an 'educative role' that shapes perceptions of government, then citizens exposed to direct democracy may be more likely to claim they understand politics and be more likely to perceive that they are capable of participation. They may also be more likely to perceive that government is responsive to them. We merge data on state-level political institutions with data from the 1992 American National Election Study to test these hypotheses with OLS models. Our primary hypotheses find support. We present evidence that the effects of exposure to direct democracy on internal and external political efficacy rival the effects of formal education.
What is the deliberative potential of everyday political discussion? We address this question using survey data and qualitative data collected in six communities in the United States and Britain. Our findings suggest that political discussion is infrequently public, modestly contested and sometimes marred by inequality. But the factors inhibiting more deliberative discussions - structural, cultural and motivational in nature - should be amenable to some change, particularly through education.
It is a widely accepted that the 1999 Treaty of Amsterdam significantly increased the powers of the European Parliament (EP). The critical question, however, is why the European Union (EU) governments did this. I argue, contrary to existing explanations, that these changes came about because the EP was a 'constitutional agenda-setter'. The rules in the EU Treaty, as established at Maastricht, were incomplete contracts, and the EU governments had imperfect information about the precise operation of the Treaty. As a result, the EP was able to re-interpret these rules to its advantage and threaten not to co-operate with the governments unless they accepted the EP's interpretations. The article shows how this process of discretion, interpretation and acceptance worked in the two main areas of EP power: in the legislative process (in the reform of the co-decision procedure), and in executive appointment (in the reform of the Commission investiture procedure). The article concludes that 'agenda-setting through discretion in rule interpretation' is a common story in the development of the powers of parliaments, both at the domestic and EU levels.
We examine the effects of voting for the winners and losers of presidential and congressional elections on political trust. On the basis of survey and electoral data for 1972 and 1996, we argue and demonstrate empirically that presidential winner-loser status systematically affects citizens' trust in government. We find that voters for the losers of the presidential contest show lower levels of trust. Moreover, we find that voting for the congressional winners does not attenuate this effect. Political trust is highest among voters who voted either for both the presidential and congressional winners or the presidential winner and congressional losers; trust is lowest among those who voted for both the presidential and congressional losers or congressional winners and the presidential loser.
Institutional arrangements influence the type of policies that leaders pursue. We examine two institutional variables: size of the selectorate (S) - the set of people who have an institutional say in choosing leaders - and the size of the winning coalition (W) - the minimal set of people whose support the incumbent needs in order to remain in power. The larger the winning coalition, the greater the emphasis leaders place on effective public policy. When W is small, leaders focus on providing private goods to their small group of supporters at the expense of the provision of public goods. The size of the selectorate influences how hard leaders work on behalf of their supporters. The greater the size of the selectorate, the more current supporters fear exclusion from future coalitions. This induces a norm of loyalty that enables leaders to reduce their effort and still survive. As a first step towards a theory of endogenous selection of institutions, we characterize the institutional preferences of the different segments of society based on the consequences of these institutions for individual welfare. We conclude by examining the implication of the model for the tenure of leaders, public policy, economic growth, corruption, taxation and ethnic politics.
Through a pooled cross-section time-series analysis of the determinants of wage inequality in sixteen OECD countries from 1973 to 1995, we explore how political-institutional variables affect the upper and lower halves of the wage distribution. Our regression results indicate that unionization, centralization of wage bargaining and public-sector employment primarily affect the distribution of wages by boosting the relative position of unskilled workers, while the egalitarian effects of Left government operate at the upper end of the wage hierarchy, holding back the wage growth of well-paid workers. Further analysis shows that the differential effects of government partisanship are contingent on wage-bargaining centralization: in decentralized bargaining systems, Left government is associated with compression of both halves of the wage distribution.
This article examines the extent of political participation by Latino non-citizens across the United States. The only previous national quantitative research on this topic is by Verba, Schlozman and Brady, who found little difference between the participation rates of Latino citizens and non-citizens. Using the Latino National Political Survey, large differences between citizen and non-citizen participation are found. Although Latino non-citizens participated in non-electoral political activities and in non-political civic groups, they were significantly less likely to do so than Latino citizens. Examination of the non-citizen population shows that immigrants who understood politics better, planned on naturalizing, had a stronger ethnic identity, were more familiar with English and were younger were more likely to become involved. The traditional socio-economic measures of education and income as well as length of stay in the United States were non-significant predictors of non-citizen participation.
Advocates of one or another set of institutions for new democracies have typically neglected the question of adoptability. The omission is especially evident in institutional prescriptions for the reduction of ethnic conflict in severely divided societies. These have been advanced with little regard for obstacles likely to be encountered in the process of adoption. Yet adoption is problematic. Processes of negotiation and exchange open the possibility of mixed outcomes reflecting the asymmetric preferences of majorities and minorities. The Northern Ireland Agreement of 1998, however, is a glaring exception, for it produced institutions that are intended to be clearly and consistently consociational. An examination of the process by which the agreement was produced suggests that the coherent outcome in Northern Ireland was the result of some very special conditions conducive to a consensus on institutions that spanned party lines. These conditions are unlikely to be widely replicable, and the fact of consensus does not imply that the agreed institutions are apt for the divided society whose problems they are intended to ameliorate.
Constitutional patriotism is an influential attempt to reconcile the conflicting imperatives of political legitimacy and cultural inclusiveness. However, it underestimates the role of particularist political cultures in grounding universalistic principles of democracy and justice. Civic patriotism, by contrast, emphasizes the motivational prerequisites of democratic governance, stresses the need to preserve existing 'co-operative ventures' such as nation-states, and demands that existing political cultures be democratically scrutinized and re-shaped in an inclusive direction. It promotes a mainly political identity, whose political content makes it compatible with a variety of practices and beliefs, but whose thin particularistic form justifies citizens' commitment to specific institutions. This commitment is not so unconditional as to justify blind loyalty to one's own institutions, nor is it so absolute as to rule out certain forms of cosmopolitan citizenship.
The existing literature on economic voting concentrates on egocentric and sociotropic evaluations of short-term economic performance. Scant attention is paid to other economic concerns people may have. In a neo-liberal economy characterized by global economic competition and a down-sized labour market, one widely-publicized economic concern - and one whose consequences political scientists have largely ignored - is job insecurity. Data from a survey conducted after the 1996 US presidential election show that job insecurity is a novel form of economic discontent that is distinctive in its origins and electoral impact from retrospective evaluations of short-term economic performance. In a multinomial probit model of electoral choice, performance measures offer little explanation of the Perot vote, but sociotropic job insecurity helps to explain why Americans rejected both major-party candidates, as well as abstention, in favour of the third-party alternative, Ross Perot.
The absence of strategic voting in new democracies represents a potential threat to democratic consolidation because it could inhibit the development of a stable party system. Yet can we expect that citizens in new democracies have developed the skills associated with strategic voting in democratic elections? Based on evidence from Hungary, a post-communist democracy, this article suggests that citizens in new democracies respond to strategic voting situations in a fashion consistent with conventional theories of strategic voting. Analysis of Hungarian voting statistics over the past three national elections indicates that voters, consistent with strategic voting theories, vigorously penalized smaller parties thereby contributing to the rapid decline in the number of effective parties competing in Hungarian elections. We argue that strategic voting occurs in two stages: (1) recognition of a 'wasted-vote' situation and (2) strategic response to that situation. Evidence of strategic voting at the individual level consists of demonstrating that a sizeable number of voters have strategic responses to 'wasted vote' situations and that these responses correspond to the predictions of conventional strategic voting models. We conduct a probit analysis of strategic voting using data from a 1997 national survey of Hungarian citizens. When faced with a 'wasted-vote' situation, 13.6 per cent of Hungarian survey respondents strategically switched their electoral support to another party. After controlling for recognition, informational factors proved inconsequential in explaining individual-level differences in strategic voting. Individual differences in issue and party preferences and the availability of co-ordination heuristics accounted for most of the heterogeneity in strategic voting among Hungarian survey respondents. These findings suggest that a sizeable percentage of citizens in nascent democracies respond strategically to 'wasted-vote' opportunities.
Samuel Huntington's 'clash of civilizations' thesis has sparked considerable debate. Huntington argues that post-Cold War conflicts will revolve primarily around civilizations. This article uses the Minorities at Risk dataset to provide a quantitative element to the civilizations debate, which, thus far, has been based mostly on anecdotal arguments. The article focuses on whether there has been a rise in both the quantity and intensity of ethnic conflicts between groups belonging to different civilizations since the end of the Cold War. Overall, the analysis reveals several problems with Huntington's argument. First, Huntington's classification of civilizations is difficult to operationalize. Secondly, civilizational conflicts constitute a minority of ethnic conflicts. Thirdly, conflicts between the West and both the Sinic/Confucian and Islamic civilizations, which Huntington predicts will be the major conflicts in the post-Cold War era, constitute a small minority of civilizational conflicts. Finally, there is no statistically significant evidence that the intensity of civilizational ethnic conflicts have risen relative to other types of ethnic conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
W.H. Riker was the most innovative political scientist of his generation. He was fascinated by big questions, and the federal government of the US posed, for him, the biggest question of all. The big idea of Riker's career from 1982 until his death in 1993 was what he himself labeled as 'heresthetics." To understand the concept, McLean follows the whole of Riker's intellectual journey.
In French election studies, a central debate concerns the French voter's 'standing decision' - is it party or ideology? The debate has been ongoing because of data and measurement issues and, we add, because of an inadequate understanding of the role electoral institutions play. The 1995 French National Election Study allows a fresh attack on these questions. It contains promising party and ideology measures, on a very large national sample. Both party identification and left-right ideological identification are shown to be widely held, with the latter more so. Their relative structural effects are found to depend heavily on the dynamics of the dual ballot. Party is more important for electoral choice on the first ballot, while ideology is more important on the second. This finding, demonstrated in fully specified logistic regression models of the presidential vote, seems also to inhere in the logic of French electoral institutions. The two-ballot rules, coupled with the pervasiveness of ideological and party identification in the public mind, go far towards revealing and explaining an underlying stability of the French political system.
Though ordinary Russians have embraced many aspects of democratic culture, their learning to tolerate their political enemies has been the most difficult democratic lesson for many. In this article, I analyse change in political tolerance in Russia, using panel data I collected in 1996 and 1998 in a nationally representative sample of Russians. Two bodies of theory are considered to generate hypotheses about change: the conventional cross-sectional model of the aetiology of tolerance; and experiential theory, based on perceptions of the performance of both the economic and political systems. The dynamic character of the model is provided by perceptions of the performance of the economy, of the political system and of the seriousness of the crime problem in Russia. Many of my findings are unexpected. For instance, tolerance seems to beget tolerance, in the sense that, over time, those who are tolerant tend to perceive diminishing threats from their political enemies. Yet threat perceptions are sustained by perceptions of the political and economic conditions in contemporary Russia. Perceptions of the change in crime are especially important since they seem to exacerbate perceptions of political threat, thereby eroding both political tolerance and support for democratic institutions and process. Paradoxically, threat is also sustained by democratic values - those who support democratic institutions and processes are more likely to perceive threats from their political enemies, a finding peculiar to the unsettled Russian case. Thus, this analysis goes some distance towards discovering the causes of changes in both Russian tolerance and intolerance.
Outsiders are familiar figures in literature but feature scarcely at all in political analysis. This is despite the fact that some of the most significant political leaders of recent decades have been outsiders, including Britain's Margaret Thatcher. She was certainly a social outsider. She was almost certainly a psychological outsider. Not least, she chose to operate politically as an outsider. Her career points to both the strengths and the weaknesses of the role of the outsider as political leader.
An 'analytic narrative' is the presentation of crucial historical events, using the intuitions of rational choice theory, to clarify the motivations and beliefs of the principal actors. This article attempts to understand a dilemma embedded in the Declaration of Independence: the expected costs of war against Britain far exceeded any possible benefits, if these are construed simply as the removal of colonial taxation. Furthermore, war against Britain necessitated an alliance with a potential aggressive power, France. An analysis is presented indicating that the benefits also included the enormous reward of the west and the 'costs' incorporated possible future aggression by France and Spain. The narrative is extended to the Ratification of the Constitution in 1787, to suggest that the Federalists, and Madison, justifiably feared Spanish aggression in the Mississippi Valley. In the 1790s, consensus (about credible threats by the European powers) fragmented, and this led to entirely different policy preferences by Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans. Napoleon's imperial intentions in Louisiana were, however, thwarted by the defeat of the French forces in Haiti in 1802-03. The result was the Louisiana Purchase of 1803-04. While the necessary causes of these various constitutional transformations can be appreciated, there appears to be an element of contingency, or happenstance, embedded in the sufficient causes. The purpose of the exercise is to attempt to understand the possibly chaotic basis of rapid institutional change.