A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country - download pdf or read online

By Steven L. Taylor, Matthew S. Shugart, Arend Lijphart, Bernard Grofman

ISBN-10: 0300198086

ISBN-13: 9780300198089

4 extraordinary students in political technology examine American democracy from a comparative perspective, exploring how the U.S. political process differs from that of thirty different democracies and what these alterations eventually suggest for democratic functionality. This crucial textual content methods the next associations from a political engineering standpoint: constitutions, electoral structures, and political events, in addition to legislative, govt, and judicial energy. The textual content appears to be like at democracies from worldwide over a two-decade timeframe. the result's not just a clean view of the much-discussed subject of yankee exceptionalism but additionally an leading edge method of comparative politics that treats the U.S. as yet one case between many. a fantastic textbook for either American and comparative politics classes.

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Additional info for A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective

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Democratization and Authoritarianism Coalitional Foundations ofPolitical Regimes The fate of classes is more frequently determined by the needs of society than the fate of society is determined by the needs of classes .... [T]he chances of classes in a struggle will depend on their ability to win support from outside their own membership, which again will depend upon their fulfillment of tasks set by interests wider than their own. 45 A "voluntarist" literature emerged in response to this "structuralist" canon, arguing that contingent splits within a regime rather than structural shifts in society offered the best explanation 4' See, especially, Herbst (zooo) and Centeno (2002).

49 Luebbert (1991). 5o Yashar (1997): 15-17. 5' O'Donnell and Schmitter (1986): 19. Ordering Power My stress on cross-class coalitions should help explain why I discount the role of popular sectors in bolstering authoritarian Leviathans, even as I depict their role as fundamental in inspiring their creation and as vital in ushering in their destruction. It is ultimately the collective action of elites that makes authoritarianism durable, and the defection of elites that makes democratization possibleY A democratic uprising from below makes authoritarian collapse far more likely, but only when it enjoys or can secure sanction and support from some segment of a fragmented elite stratum.

If we adjust our target of inquiry to the elite collective action that authoritarian institutions facilitate, rather than the institutional types themselves, we might discover common sources of durability in military-led and party-led authoritarian regimes alike. In sum, authoritarian regimes vary dramatically in their institutional foundations, as Geddes argues above- but those institutions have coalitional foundations that exhibit independent causal significance. Indeed, where an authoritarian leadership lacks broad elite support at the onset of its rule, it is unlikely to take the political risks inherent in building stronger states and parties in the first place.

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A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective by Steven L. Taylor, Matthew S. Shugart, Arend Lijphart, Bernard Grofman


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