Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance

ISBN-10: 0521710154
ISBN-13: 9780521710152
Edition: 2008
List price: $26.99 Buy it from $4.48
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.99
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 6/8/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 248
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

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.

John Gerring is Professor of Political Science at Boston University, where he teaches courses on methodology and comparative politics. He has published several books including Social Science Methodology: A Criterial Framework (Cambridge University Press, 2001), Case Study Research: Principles and Practices (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2008). He served as a fellow of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, New Jersey), 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.

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Models of Governance
Causal Mechanisms
Party Government
Conflict Mediation
Policy Coordination
Empirics
Hypotheses
Cross-National Tests
Assessing the Evidence
Conclusions
In Defense of Grand Theory
Defining Good Governance
Alternative Theories Revisited
Sources
Author Index
Subject Index

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