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Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Political scientists have long classified systems of government as parliamentary or presidential, two-party or multiparty, and so on. But such distinctions often fail to provide useful insights. For example, how are we to compare the United States, a presidential bicameral regime with two weak parties, to Denmark, a parliamentary unicameral regime with many strong parties? Veto Players advances an important, new understanding of how governments are structured. The real distinctions between political systems, contends George Tsebelis, are to be found in the extent to which they afford political actors veto power over policy choices. Drawing richly on game theory, he develops a scheme by which governments can thus be classified. He shows why an increase in the number of "veto players," or an increase in their ideological distance from each other, increases policy stability, impeding significant departures from the status quo.Policy stability affects a series of other key characteristics of polities, argues the author. For example, it leads to high judicial and bureaucratic independence, as well as high government instability (in parliamentary systems). The propositions derived from the theoretical framework Tsebelis develops in the first part of the book are tested in the second part with various data sets from advanced industrialized countries, as well as analysis of legislation in the European Union. Representing the first consistent and consequential theory of comparative politics, Veto Players will be welcomed by students and scholars as a defining text of the discipline.From the preface to the Italian edition:"Tsebelis has produced what is today the most original theory for the understanding of the dynamics of contemporary regimes. . . . This book promises to remain a lasting contribution to political analysis."--Gianfranco Pasquino, Professor of Political Science, University of Bologna

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

List of Tables xi

Preface and Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

PART I: VETO PLAYERS THEORY 17

One: Individual Veto Players 19

Two: Collective Veto Players 38

PART II: VETO PLAYERS AND INSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS 65

Three: Regimes: Nondemocratic, Presidential, and Parliamentary 67

Four: Governments and Parliaments 91

Five: Referendums 116

Six: Federalism, Bicameralism, and Qualified Majorities 136

PART III: POLICY EFFECTS OF VETO PLAYERS 161

Seven: Legislation 165

Eight: Macroeconomic Policies 187

PART IV: SYSTEMIC EFFECTS OF VETO PLAYERS 207

Nine: Government Stability 209

Ten: Judiciary and Bureaucracies 222

Eleven: Veto Players Analysis of European Union Institutions 248

Conclusion 283

Bibliography 291

Index 309

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400831456
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Subject:
Political Science : Political Process - General
Author:
Tsebelis, George
Subject:
Political Science : Reference
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
June 2011
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » Reference

Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work
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