A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 8, 2008 - Political Science - 237 pages
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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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Contents

Section 1
39
Section 2
62
Section 3
85
Section 4
87
Section 5
101
Section 6
143
Section 7
155
Section 8
157
Section 9
165
Section 10
179
Section 11
191

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About the author (2008)

John Gerring (PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1993) is Professor of Political Science at Boston University, where he teaches courses on methodology and comparative politics. His books include Party Ideologies in America, 1828-1996 (Cambridge University Press, 1998), Social Science Methodology: A Criterial Framework (Cambridge University Press, 2001), Case Study Research: Principles and Practices (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Concepts and Method: Giovanni Sartori and his Legacy (Routledge, 2009), Social Science Methodology: Tasks, Strategies, and Criteria (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Global Justice: A Prioritarian Manifesto (in process), and Democracy and Development: A Historical Perspective (in process). He served as a fellow of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), as a member of The National Academy of Sciences' Committee on the Evaluation of USAID Programs to Support the Development of Democracy, as President of the American Political Science Association's Organized Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, and is the current recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to collect historical data related to colonialism and long-term development.

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