Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-six Countries

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 1999 - Political Science - 351 pages
7 Reviews
In this updated and expanded edition of his highly acclaimed book Democracies, Arend Lijphart offers a broader and deeper analysis of worldwide democratic institutions than ever before. Examining thirty-six democracies during the half-century from 1945 to 1996, Lijphart arrives at important -- and unexpected -- conclusions about what type of democracy works best. While conventional wisdom suggests that majoritarian democracies like those in the United States and Great Britain are superior to consensual systems like those in Switzerland and Israel, Lijphart shows this is not so. In fact, consensual systems stimulate economic growth, control inflation and unemployment, and limit budget deficits just as well as majoritarian democracies do. And, consensus democracies clearly outperform majoritarian systems on measures of political equality, women's representation, citizen participation in elections, and proximity between government policies and voter preferences.

Systematically comparing cabinets, legislatures, parties, election systems, supreme courts, and -- for the first time in this volume -- interest groups and central banks, Lijphart demonstrates that the more consensual a democracy, the "kinder and gentler" it is when addressing welfare, environmental, criminal justice, and foreign aid issues. These findings are of far-reaching import not only for countries designing their first democratic constitutions but also for established democracies seeking practical approaches to reform.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
0
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
0

Review: Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries

User Review  - Lars Sj÷blom - Goodreads

Classic in comparative politics Read full review

Review: Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries

User Review  - Michael Griswold - Goodreads

Arend Lijphart's "Patterns of Democracy" has become a standardized text within the comparative politics subfield, but I think the question needs to be asked "Given all the divergence in regime type ... Read full review

Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The Westminster Model of Democracy
9
3 The Consensus Model of Democracy
31
4 ThirtySix Democracies
48
TwoParty and Multiparty Patterns
62
Concentration Versus Sharing of Executive Power
90
Patterns of Dominance and Balance of Power
116
Majority and Plurality Methods Versus Proportional Representation
143
Amendment Procedures and Judicial Review
216
Independence Versus Dependence
232
14 The TwoDimensional Conceptual Map of Democracy
243
Does Consensus Democracy Make a Difference?
258
Consensus Democracy Makes a Difference
275
17 Conclusions and Recommendations
301
Appendix A Two Dimensions and Ten Basic Variables 194596 and 197196
311
Appendix B Alternative Measure of Multipartism Cabinet Composition and Disproportionality 194596 and 197196
315

Pluralism Versus Corporatism
171
The FederalUnitary and CentralizedDecentralized Contrasts
185
Concentration Versus Division of Legislative Power
200

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

lijphart is research professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Bibliographic information