A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance
Cambridge University Press, Jun 8, 2008 - Political Science - 237 pages
This book sets forth a relatively novel theory of democratic governance, applicable to all political settings in which multi-party competition obtains. Against the prevailing decentralist theory (deriving from Madison and Montesquieu), we argue that good governance arises when political energies are focused toward the center. Two elements must be reconciled in order for this process of gathering together to occur. Institutions must be inclusive and they must be authoritative. We refer to this combination of attributes as "centripetal." While the theory has many potential applications, in this book we are concerned primarily with national-level political institutions. Among these, we argue that three are of fundamental importance in securing a centripetal style of democratic governance: unitary (rather than federal) sovereignty, a parliamentary (rather than presidential) executive, and a closed-list PR electoral system (rather than a single-member district or preferential-vote system). We test the impact of these institutions across a wide range of governance outcomes.
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analysis authority autocorrelation bicameralism Botswana Buchanan bureaucrats cabinet Cambridge University Press candidates capita ln causal central centripetal institutions ceteris paribus chapter closed-list PR coalitions competition consensus Consociational Democracy constitutional institutions contrast coordination problems correction for first-order country’s Crepaz decentralist decentralized Democracy dependent variable district effects election electoral system empirical ethnic conflict executive federal fiscal fiscal federalism GDP per capita Gerring governance outcomes groups human development important incentives indicators John Journal Latin America legislative legislature Lijphart majoritarian measure minimally democratic Polity2 Newey-West standard errors normative Oxford Pareto optimality Parliamentarism parliamentary system perspective policy outcomes political institutions political parties Political Science PR systems preferential voting presidential systems Proportional Representation Public Choice public interest quality of governance question R-square regional Rent-Seeking role Sample semi-presidential social sovereignty specific structure Studies subnational theoretical theory tion Unitarism United versus veto points vote World Bank 2003a York