CONTEMPORARY DEMOCRACIES

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Harvard University Press, Jan 1, 1984 - History - 296 pages
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Why do some democracies succeed while others fail? In seeking an answer to this classic problem, G. Bingham Powell, Jr. examines the record of voter participation, government stability, and violence in 29 democracies during the 1960s and 1970s. The core of the book and its most distinguishing feature is the treatment of the role of political parties in mobilizing citizens and containing violence.
  

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Contents

Introduction Democracy Parties and Performance
1
The Contemporary Democracies
2
Political Parties and the Democratic Order
7
Standards of Political Performance
8
Political Performance The Initial Comparison
12
Stable and Effective Government
17
Maintaining Political Order
20
Compatibility of the Performance Dimensions
25
PartySystem Dynamics
98
Party Systems and Democratic Performance
105
Citizen Involvement Participation or Turmoil
111
A Causal Model of Voting Participation
120
Turmoil and Its Containment
123
Government Performance Executive Stability
133
Durability of Governments
144
Presidential Government
151

The Social and Economic Environment
30
Population Size
31
Modernization and Economic Development
34
Social Cleavages
41
Economic Divisions
47
A Brief Multivariate Consideration
49
The Constitutional Setting
54
Constitutional Design and Political Performance
59
Constitution and Culture
66
Socioeconomic and Constitutional Effects
69
Party Systems and Election Outcomes
74
Attributes of Party Systems
75
Fractionalization
80
Parties and Social Groups
85
Extremist Parties
92
Volatility of Party Strength
96
Managing Violence and Sustaining Democracy
154
Strategic Objectives and Consequences
157
Military and Executive Coups
170
Democratic Performance Liberty Competition Responsiveness
175
Political Competition
177
Policy Responsiveness
186
Conclusion Constraint and Creativity in Democracies
201
Executive Control and Economic Manipulation
208
Consociational Practices
212
Requirements for Performance and Survival
218
Limits and Directions
226
Appendix
231
Notes
238
Index
275
Copyright

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About the author (1984)

G. Bingham Powell, Jr. is Professor of Political Science, University of Rochester, and the coauthor of Comparative Politics: System, Process, and Policy.

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