This article assesses the influence of material interests and cultural identities on European opinion about immigration. Analysis of respondents in twenty countries sampled in the 2002-03 European Social Survey demonstrates that they are unenthusiastic about high levels of immigration and typically overestimate the actual number of immigrants living in their country. At the individual level, cultural and national identity, economic interests and the level of information about immigration are all important predictors of attitudes. 'Symbolic' predispositions, such as preferences for cultural unity, have a stronger statistical effect than economic dissatisfaction. Variation across countries in both the level and the predictors of opposition to immigration are mostly unrelated to contextual factors cited in previous research, notably the amount of immigration into a country and the overall state of its economy. The ramifications of these findings for policy makers are discussed in the context of current debates about immigration and European integration.
The relationship between electoral systems and corruption in a large sample of contemporary democratic nations is analysed in this article. Whereas previous studies have shown that closed-list proportional representation is associated with greater (perceived) corruption than open-list PR, it is demonstrated here that this relationship fails to hold once district magnitude is considered. The theory underlying this study draws on work on 'the personal vote' that suggests that the incentives to amass resources - and perhaps even to do so illegally - increase with district magnitude in open-list settings but decrease in closed-list contexts. Extending this insight, it is shown that political corruption gets more (less) severe as district magnitude increases under open-list PR (closed-list PR) systems. In addition, once district magnitude exceeds a certain threshold - the estimates here are that this is as low as fifteen - corruption is greater under open lists than closed lists. Only at small district magnitudes (below fifteen) is closed-list PR associated with more corruption, as conventionally held. These results hold for alternative measures of corruption, for different sets of countries analysed, for different measures of district magnitude and regardless of whether the political system is presidential or parliamentary, and of the number of parties. Using an objective measure of corruption in public works contracting, corroborating evidence is also presented from Italian electoral districts. In Italy's open-list environment in the period prior to 1994, larger districts were more susceptible to corruption than smaller ones.
Structural limitations in models of representative democracy have enhanced the space for other mechanisms of legitimacy in the European Union, including participatory models in which organized civil society interests are significant players. To some observers, such actors are likely only to aggravate already problematic input legitimacy. A range of less hostile approaches also prevail, from a neutral standpoint through to those sharing the perspective of EU policy practice where such actors are seen as a complementary mechanism of democratic input. Whilst concerns about the impact of asymmetries of power between different types of organized civil society interests arise as potential issues in any democratic setting, a particularly vigorous neo-pluralist regime, in which EU institutions actively create and develop as well as empower citizen interest groups, effectively mitigates these asymmetries in an EU context, although it can give rise to paradoxical tensions of elitism.
Since the Second World War, preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) have become increasingly pervasive features of the international economic system. A great deal of research has addressed the economic consequences of these arrangements, but far less effort has been made to identify the political factors leading states to enter them. In this article, the domestic political factors affecting whether countries enter PTAs are investigated, placing particular emphasis on the number of veto players within a state. It is argued that the probability of forming a PTA declines as the number of such players rises. The results, covering 194 countries from 1950 to 1999, strongly support this argument. Holding various political and economic factors constant, increasing the number of veto players within a country significantly reduces the probability of signing a PTA.
The determinants of the welfare state have received a great deal of attention in the comparative political economy literature. An analysis of the role that indirect taxation plays in the politics of advanced industrial societies is, however, missing. This article demonstrates that a full understanding of the links between redistribution, social democracy and corporatism is impossible without a closer look at indirect taxation. Conventional wisdom is questioned and it is shown that social democratic governments in corporatist environments find themselves in a paradoxical situation. They need to support the welfare state by relying upon a fundamentally regressive policy instrument: indirect taxation. It is also shown that social democratic governments can minimize the use of consumption taxes as part of their redistributive strategy only in non-corporatist settings. In exploring these issues, this article illuminates alternative routes for the pursuit of equality in a context of declining corporatist arrangements.
What impact does the negotiation stage prior to the adoption of international agreements have on the subsequent implementation stage? We address this question by examining the linkages between decision making on European Union directives and any subsequent infringements and delays in national transposition. We formulate a preference-based explanation of failures to comply, which focuses on states' incentives to deviate and the amount of discretion granted to states. This is compared with state-based explanations that focus on country-specific characteristics. Infringements are more likely when states disagree with the content of directives and the directives provide them with little discretion. Granting discretion to member states, however, tends to lead to longer delays in transposition. We find no evidence of country-specific effects.
This article is a study of bicameral conflict resolution between the Council and the European Parliament in the European Union, which has established a bicameral conciliation process under the co-decision procedure. Scholars commonly agree that the European Parliament has gained power under the co-decision procedure, but the impact of the conciliation process on the power distribution between the Council and the European Parliament remains unclear. The scholarly debate suggests that the power of the institutional actors depends on their proximity to the status quo, the (im-)patience and the specific preference distribution of the institutional actors, although most analyses assume that the Commission plays an insignificant role. Using an ordered probit model, this study examines the power distribution between the two institutional actors, the factors for their bargaining success and the role of the Commission in the period between 1999 and 2002. The findings show that the European Parliament wins most conflicts, but that the Council is more successful in multi-dimensional disputes. The results confirm some theoretical claims made in the literature, such as the importance of the status quo location and of preference cohesiveness. However, they also reject a major assumption in the literature on the irrelevance of the Commission in the conciliation process, which we show to have an influential informational position for parliamentary success.
We analyse the determinants of ministerial hazard rates in Britain from 1945 to 1997. We focus on three sets of attributes (i) personal characteristics of the minister; (ii) political characteristics of the minister; and (iii) characteristics pertaining to the government in which the minister serves. We find that educational background increases ministers' capacity to survive, that female ministers have lower hazard rates and older ministers have higher hazard rates. Experienced ministers have higher hazard rates than newly appointed ministers. Ministerial rank increases a minister's capacity to survive, with full cabinet members having the lowest hazard rates in our sample. We use different strategies to control for the characteristics of the government the minister serves in. Our results are robust to any of these controls.
This article analyses how institutional and contextual factors explain the approval of presidential initiatives - presidential legislative success - in highly disciplined and cartelized assemblies. Of particular importance is to test whether public opinion, the electoral cycle and the use of different institutional rules affect the approval of presidential initiatives in Congress. Using a multilevel Bayesian model of legislative success, I model bill approval rates at individual and aggregate levels. This strategy is extremely flexible, allowing us to disentangle the different institutional and contextual factors that determine the approval of presidential initiatives in the Argentine Congress.
This article presents a model of terrorist attacks as signals where the government is uncertain as to whether it is facing a group that is politically motivated or militant. Pooling equilibriums result with two types of ex post regret: P-regret, where the government concedes to political types that would not subsequently attack; and M-regret, where the government does not concede to militant types that subsequently attack at greater levels. Avoidance of such regret defines a measure of the value of intelligence. Counter-terrorism policy can then be characterized in terms of whether a government should focus on increased intelligence versus increased security (hardening targets). The recommended use of asset freezing is also evaluated in terms of the resources required by terrorists to achieve the various equilibriums. Finally, this article supports the empirical finding of intertemporal substitution of resources by terrorists, concerned with the level of government response to their attacks.
Comparative scholars have disagreed for some time now as to whether democratic institutions in a divided society are more likely to remain stable if those institutions are premised on a concern for inclusion or on a concern for moderation. But since the empirical evidence marshalled by such scholars is often open to interpretative dispute, neither side has been able to prove its case conclusively. In order to help move this stability debate forward, this article demonstrates how inclusion and moderation can be recast as co-requirements of an underlying principle of political equality. To this end, it offers a deliberative democratic account of political equality, expressed in terms of requirements of publicity and reciprocity, that enables us to see how inclusion and moderation might be reconciled. Moreover, it shows how this deliberative reconciliation may itself provide for a more effective form of institutional stability than can be achieved under either of the two main contending comparative approaches.
This essay examines the causes of government support for European integration. It evaluates several competing theories, both material and ideological. Two dependent variables are examined: government support for European integration in Council of Ministers decisions, and in the 1997 Amsterdam intergovernmental conference. There appear to be sharp differences between the two decision-making fora in the efficacy of predictive variables. In the Council of Ministers, left-right political ideology and financial transfers from the European Union to member states provide the best explanations. In the Amsterdam conference, experience in the Second World War and financial transfers provide the best explanations. This research extends our understanding of why governments choose co-operation within the European Union. It also extends our understanding of the relationship between ideology and integration preferences. Ideology matters not just to parties, but also to governments, which represent both territorial interests and ideologies. There appears to be a linear relationship, whereby left governments are more supportive of integration than right governments.
This article argues that, in contemporary political circumstances, we should think of political toleration not as toleration that a government extends to those it rules but as a political ideal that governments can uphold and promote. We should substitute a conception of the tolerant society or the tolerant political order for that of the tolerant ruler. Toleration so conceived is consistent with the idea of a neutral state, although it need not entail a commitment to political neutrality. However, if we are to make sense of the idea of a tolerant society and, in particular, of the assumption that one political arrangement can be more tolerant than another, we need to place limits on what can count as toleration and intolerance. I use a distinction between agents, observers and patients to argue that point. I also argue that the presence of compossible options is a precondition of political toleration so that, if an issue requires a choice between incompossible options, it should not be conceived as an issue of toleration at all. The general message of the article is that, while we should reject claims that toleration has become obsolete as a political ideal, we need to revise our thinking on what constitutes political toleration if we are to apply that idea to liberal democratic arrangements ideally conceived.
This article questions prevailing interpretations of New Labour's political economy and challenges the assumption within the comparative and international political economy literatures of the exhaustion of the Keynesian political economic paradigm. New Labour's doctrinal statements are analysed to establish to what extent these doctrinal positions involve a repudiation of Keynesianism. Although New Labour has explicitly renounced the 'fine tuning' often (somewhat problematically) associated with post-war Keynesian political economy, we argue that they have carved out policy space in which to engage in macroeconomic 'coarse tuning' inspired by Keynesian thinking. This capacity to 'coarse tune' is precisely what is being sought in New Labour's quest for credibility through the redesign of British macroeconomic policy framework and institutions. Our empirical focus on New Labour in government since 1997 offers considerable evidence that this search for the capacity to 'coarse tune' has been successful.
This review presents a critical account of the most powerful critique of liberal political thought to have emerged in recent years: a critique it calls the 'politics of compulsion'. Drawing on the work of a wide range of critics of contemporary liberalism, this article contends that although those who advance this critique are divided in many ways they are nonetheless held together by a series of powerful descriptive and normative challenges to liberal political philosophy as it has developed since the publication of John Rawls's Political Liberalism. The article further demonstrates that most of these challenges centre on the place of coercive power in modem political life and suggests that, although these challenges should not undermine liberals' commitment to their central normative claims, they do nonetheless provide an essential rejoinder to some of liberalism's more complacent assumptions.
We apply a dynamic perspective to forecasting votes and seats in British elections. Our vote model captures the swing of the electoral pendulum between the two major parties while using prime ministerial approval as the (sole) short-run predictor of vote choice. The seat model incorporates the inertia of the previous seat distribution while translating votes into seats. The models forecast the lead of one major party over the other (percentage for votes and number for seats). The statistical estimation includes data on British elections since 1945, although the test for cycles (swing of the electoral pendulum) goes as far back as 1832. The vote model picks the winner of every one of the 1945-2005 elections (out-of-sample forecasts) and is rarely off by more than 2 percentage points. The seat model does almost as well, rarely missing the seat lead by more than 25.
Although a rich body of research has explored the sources of party polarization in the US House of Representatives, it has focused primarily on the House since the late 1970s. Drawing on a dataset of historical election outcomes, legislative voting and survey data, this article takes an alternative approach that examines both the US Senate and the House in their broader historical contexts. It is argued that the unusually bipartisan era of the 1950s created a set of circumstances that enabled congressional parties to remain relatively unpolarized throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Although the national parties became more ideologically distinct in the mid-1960s, congressional parties lagged behind. As a result, a group of moderate legislators emerged who were cross-pressured between their national parties and their constituencies. Only when natural patterns of electoral loss and retirement replaced these legislators did congressional party polarization re-emerge.
Mass media play a central role in political life. Media not only transfer information; they also facilitate communication. These functions may ameliorate conflict, crisis and war in world politics. Accordingly, this study looks into the impact of media openness on international conflict. Based on a cross-sectional, time-series dataset for interstate dyads from 1950 to 1992, logistic regression analysis shows that an indicator of media openness has a strong dampening effect on Militarized Interstate Disputes (MIDs) and fatal MIDs. Moreover, this connection is significant even in the presence of a composite indicator of democracy (that measures its institutional attributes using the Polity data), economic interdependence and joint membership in international organizations. The results suggest that the successful neo-Kantian triad is complemented effectively by the presence of media openness.
This study assesses how the mass public reasons about political institutions by examining the effects of winning and losing on support for several electoral reform proposals. The national sample survey identified majorities supporting proposals for major changes in America's electoral institutions, and that suggested electoral losses may have a modest effect in reducing losers' satisfaction with how democracy works. Random assignment experiments that tested hypotheses derived from theories of risk perception were conducted. It was found that people who saw themselves as winners and losers in the electoral arena reasoned differently when proposals for change were framed in terms of loss. Losers may be just slightly more supportive than winners of some electoral reforms; however, they appeared less sensitive than winners to framing effects that presented reform proposals in terms of the risks of loss. Winners may support the same reform proposals but their support for change decreased more when the proposals were framed as a potential loss. Winners are thus risk aversive when evaluating electoral reform proposals, while losers may even be risk seeking. Although this survey found support for major reforms, the patterns of reasoning that were identified in the mass public suggest a basis for the stability of electoral institutions.
In democratic theory, the practice of discussing public affairs has been associated with desirable consequences for citizenship and democracy. We use Anglo-American survey data to examine twelve hypotheses about psychological foundations for four general conditions that such discussions might promote: autonomous citizens, political legitimacy, good representation and democratic communities. Our data combine detailed measures of public discussion with measures of more of its hypothesized civic consequences than have heretofore been available. They also enable us to probe, using specialized samples, causal inferences suggested by our analyses of random samples in our British and American communities. Six of the hypotheses are supported, including at least one regarding each of the four general liberal democratic conditions we investigate.