Electoral rules and constitutional structures can influence the level of political corruption. We show that proportional representation (PR) systems are more susceptible to corrupt political rent-seeking than plurality systems. We argue that this result depends on the different loci of rents in PR and plurality systems, and on the monitoring difficulties faced by both voters and opposition parties under PR. We also examine the interaction between electoral rules and presidentialism. We test our main predictions and interaction effects on a cross-section of up to ninety-four democracies. The empirical findings strongly support our hypothesis that PR systems, especially together with presidentialism, are associated with higher levels of corrupt political rent-seeking.
How cohesive are political parties in the European Parliament? What coalitions form and why? The answers to these questions are central for understanding the impact of the European Parliament on European Union policies. These questions are also central in the study of legislative behaviour in general. We collected the total population of roll-call votes in the European Parliament, from the first elections in 1979 to the end of 2001 (over 11,500 votes). The data show growing party cohesion despite growing internal national and ideological diversity within the European party groups. We also find that the distance between parties on the left-right dimension is the strongest predictor of coalition patterns. We conclude that increased power of the European Parliament has meant increased power for the transnational parties, via increased internal party cohesion and inter-party competition.
Stolle and Hooghe comment on the debate, which focused on the question of whether or not social capital and civic engagement are declining in Western societies. They discuss each of the four avenues of criticisms that opens a research agenda in order to get closer to a definite answers about whether social capital and civic engagement are declining or just transforming, and about the consequences of the evolution.
Work exploring the relationship between public opinion and public policy over time has largely been restricted to the United States. A wider application of this line of research can provide insights into how representation varies across political systems, however. This article takes a first step in this direction using a new body of data on public opinion and government spending in Britain. The results of analyses reveal that the British public appears to notice and respond (thermostatically) to changes in public spending in particular domains, perhaps even more so than in the United States. They also reveal that British policymakers represent these preferences in spending, though the magnitude and structure of this response is less pronounced and more general. The findings are suggestive about the structuring role of institutions.
Although the concept of policy transfer attracts growing attention in political science, its application to the European Union remains underdeveloped. This article offers a comprehensive conceptual account of EU policy transfer. It starts from the institutionalist premise that transfer processes and outcomes will vary between differently constituted governance regimes. Three forms of EU governance are identified; hierarchy, negotiation and 'facilitated unilateralism'. The article develops hypotheses about the linkages between institutional variables and transfer outcomes, assessed on a scale from emulation to influence. Hypotheses are set against empirical evidence drawn from a variety of policy areas. We find evidence to support the general hypothesis that stronger forms of policy transfer occur in more highly institutionalized governance regimes. The evidence also points to micro-institutional variables shaping transfer outcomes: the powers accruing to supra-national institutions; decision rules; and the density of exchange between national actors.
Blais et al explore the factors that influenced the decision to adopt the system of proportional representation (PR) at the turn of the 20th century. They argue that the two factors of considerable theoretical relevance were particularly important in facilitating the shift to PR: the spread of democratic ideas and the presence of a majority system, and, as a consequence, a multi-party system. Among other things, the explanation emphasizes the interplay between the popular appeal of PR and existing electoral institution.
This article adapts and tests the theory of enlightened preferences on two British electoral cycles: 1992-97 and 1997-2001. Using individual-level panel data, it extends previous work by explicitly incorporating the role of political knowledge. Its findings are generally very supportive of the theory. It is shown that knowledge of party platforms varies through both electoral cycles in a manner predicted by the theory; that is, it is highest immediately following election campaigns; these changes in political knowledge are closely mirrored by changes in the explanatory power of a model of party choice containing so-called 'fundamental variables' (i.e. socio-demographic and issue-related variables) as predictors. More specifically, fundamental variables do a much better job of accounting for party choice during election years than in mid-cycle. Finally, for all years of both panels a positive interaction is found between political knowledge and the ability of voters to match their issue preferences to party platforms.
Social trust forms a major component of current conceptions of social capital and as such has been attributed a significant role in providing the social context for the emergence and maintenance of stable, liberal democratic polities and effective economies. Its role in these processes has in turn been generalized to post-communist societies in East-Central Europe undergoing 'dual transitions' from authoritarian states with command economies to democratic free-market societies. In this article, however, it is shown that the relations between trust and democratization in East-Central Europe imply a rather different 'top-down' process, in which levels of trust reflect rather than influence the effectiveness of political and economic institutions. This calls into question the generalization of models developed in democratic societies to the post-communist context and provides the basis for an alternative understanding of the process of social capital formation.
Krauss and Nyblade delve on one core aspect of the "presidentialization" argument, which is the relationship between the prime minister, the media, and the elections. They seek to put the focus on the apparent sudden increase in importance of the Japanese prime minister in perspective, arguing that the newly noted importance of the prime minister is the culmination of a trend that began two decades ago.
Formal models of voting usually assume that political agents, whether parties or candidates, attempt to maximize expected vote shares. 'Stochastic' models typically derive the 'mean voter theorem' that each agent will adopt a 'convergent' policy strategy at the mean of the electoral distribution. In this article, it is argued that this conclusion is contradicted by empirical evidence. Estimates of vote intentions require 'valence' terms. The valence of each party derives from the average weight, given by members of the electorate, in judging the overall competence or 'quality' of the particular party leader. In empirical models, a party's valence is independent of current policy declarations and can be shown to be statistically significant in the estimation. It is shown here that the addition of valence gives a very strong Bayes factor over an electoral model without valence. The formal model is analysed and shown to be classified by a 'convergence' coefficient, defined in terms of the parameters of the empirical model. This coefficient gives necessary and sufficient conditions for convergence. When the necessary condition fails, as it does in these empirical studies with valence, then the convergent equilibrium fails to exist. The empirical evidence is consistent with a formal stochastic model of voting in which there are multiple local Nash equilibria to the vote-maximizing electoral game. Simulation techniques based on the parameters of the empirical model have been used to obtain these local equilibria, which are determined by the principal component of the electoral distribution. Low valence parties, in equilibrium, will tend to adopt positions at the electoral periphery. High valence parties will contest the electoral centre, but will not, in fact, position themselves at the electoral mean. Survey data from Israel for the elections of 1988, 1992 and 1996 are used to compute the parameters of the empirical model and to illustrate the dependence of equilibria on the electoral principal components. The vote maximizing equilibria do not perfectly coincide with the actual party positions. This divergence may be accounted for by more refined models that either (i) include activism or (ii) consider strategic party considerations over post-election coalition bargaining.
Deliberative democrats are committed both to inclusion and to barring coercion in public discourse. Their commitment to democratic inclusion should make them sympathetic to the challenges faced by social movements. An adequate sociology of contentious public discourse, however, shows that social movements must often act coercively in order to be included. For example, they must often alter the terrain of conflict, create a crisis, pressure interlocutors to argue consistently, or compel other parties to enter social arenas of contention that they have avoided. Democratic theorists who are committed to inclusion should approve of such coercion. Under the actual circumstances movements face, there is a tension between non-coercion and democratic inclusion. This tension demonstrates the need for a democratic standard and a mode of democratic social analysis beyond those that deliberative theory offers.
A common feature of contemporary political systems is the increasing amount of delegation from governments to non-majoritarian institutions. Governments may decide to delegate authority to such institutions for reasons relating to credible commitments, political uncertainty and policy complexity. This article focuses on Independent Administrative Authorities (Autorités administratives indépendantes) in France. We demonstrate that these institutions enjoy varying degrees of independence. We find that the degree of independence varies as a function of two factors: the need to make a credible commitment in areas subject to market opening and the complexity of policy in particular areas.
On the basis of an analysis of a four-wave panel survey, we argue that exposure to television news had significant, substantial effects on both attitudes and vote choices in Mexico's watershed presidential election of 2000. These findings support the contention, implicit in some research on political communication, that the magnitude of media effects varies with certain features of the political context. In particular, television influence in electoral campaigns may be substantially larger in emerging democratic systems.
Roll-call cohesion scores are the most widely used measures of voting blocs in legislative studies, appearing in literally hundreds of studies since their introduction in 1924. Despite a staple of legislative studies, we know virtually nothing about the statistical properties of these scores. In this article, it is shown how such scores suffer a serious bias problem: scores are artificially inflated for small parties, especially those that are less unified. The problem is demonstrated and an intuitive solution proposed. It is illustrated with data from the United States and from Brazil.
An event-history analysis of the disbandings of nationally active gay and lesbian rights advocacy groups in the United States for the period 1945-98 is presented. Specifically, the hypothesis (which comes from population-ecology theory) is tested that the survival prospects of gay and lesbian rights interest groups are related non-monotonically to the number of groups in the population (i.e., density). The statistical analyses presented support the hypothesis: as density rises from near zero to high, the death rate first decreases but eventually increases. Several other hypotheses are also tested, and among the findings is the following: the survival prospects of gay and lesbian rights interest groups are related non-monotonically to group age - as group age increases, a group's probability of death first rises but then decreases.
Human rights have long been a direct or indirect substantive topic in modern political science and, in particular, the study of human rights represents an important nexus between traditional concerns within comparative politics and those in international relations. On the one hand, comparative politics has traditionally been concerned with the functions, determinants and outcomes of different political regimes, political institutions, political culture, the relationship between states and citizens (protest and repression, social mobilization and citizenship rights, voting, elections and party systems), and large social processes such as social and political revolutions, democratization and the domestic effects of and responses to globalization. On the other hand, international relations has concentrated on the inter-state dynamics of war, peace and security; international trade, finance and development; the growth and role of international organizations; the proliferation and effectiveness of international regimes and foreign policy analysis. More recently, attention has focused on the interplay between domestic and international politics in examining the ways in which domestic political arrangements may have an impact on the international behaviour of states. The now famous notion of the two-level game has been instructive for scholars examining the constraint of democratic institutions on state behaviour, while the large literature on the democratic and Kantian peace has used the tools of modern political science to examine the degree to which democracy and other liberal variables have an inhibiting effect on the likelihood of interstate violence. The study of human rights within modern political science fits neatly into these disciplinary developments. The history of human rights is one of the increasing internationalization of an idea that has traditionally been defended nationally.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT
Many assert that the economic problems of Africa possess political origins. In particular, they point to a lack of political accountability and argue that economic reform and the renewal of growth depend upon political reform and in particular upon the promotion of competitive electoral politics. Summarizing these arguments, this article formalizes and tests them, using both an African and global sample of data. While it finds support for the view that within Africa - and globally - competitive institutions are associated with less extractive policies, it finds no evidence that these institutions have facilitated the implementation of Washington consensus policies.
The Russian parliamentary and presidential elections of December 1999 and March 2000 appeared to have been won in large part through the partisan use of (particularly state) television. According to the evidence of a spring 2001 national survey, television was the main source of political information for the supporters of all parties and candidates. However, state television (which had been most supportive of the Kremlin) was much more likely to be favoured by the supporters of the pro-regime Unity party; while commercial television (which had provided a more even-handed coverage of the elections) was more popular and respected among the supporters of anti-Kremlin parties and candidates and less popular among supporters of Vladimir Putin. Regression analysis that takes account of reciprocal causation between media source and vote choice indicates that these were not spurious associations. The findings suggest that the state itself may exercise a disproportionate influence upon the electoral process in newly established systems in which social structures and political allegiances remain fluid.
This analysis outlines and tests the steps-to-war explanation of international conflict. At the core of this explanation is the expectation that territorial disputes are a key source of war and that as states that have these disputes make politically relevant alliances, have recurring disputes and build up their military forces against each other, they will experience ever-increasing probabilities of war. The absence of these risk factors is expected to lessen the chances of severe conflict. Utilizing the Militarized Interstate Dispute data of the Correlates of War project, the data analyses provide full support for the steps-to-war explanation during the 1816-1945 era and partial support for the Cold War nuclear 1946-92 span. Among the findings for this latter period is the presence of a curvilinear relationship between the number of prior disputes and the probability of war - after a large number of disputes, states begin to ritualize their behaviour at levels short of war.