British Journal of Political Science

Published by Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Online ISSN: 1469-2112
Publications
Article
When public programme demands exceed resources, tradeoffs between different public policies occur; that is, one policy gains while another loses in the allocation of these resources. Tradeoffs are most easily measured in terms of budgetary expenditures. If the budget is expanding, the consequences of tradeoffs are less severe than when the budget contracts or remains stable, and budgetary decisions involve zero-sum games. However, the concept of tradeoff is still relevant in an expanding budget since decisions are made about how the additional resources are to be allocated, and while all policy areas may gain, some obviously will receive more resources than others.
 
Article
One influential strand of public policy-making theory imputes considerable autonomy to civil servants (and politicians) from social pressures; and, in Heclo's variant, conceives of policy makers as engaging in a benign process of social learning, the results of which benefit society. In this article we use the campaign to enact legislation for voluntary sterilization as an example of such a process. The analysis is based on archival records of the deliberations of the Brock Committee (1932–34), established to investigate the desirability of sterilization; it demonstrates how the committee attempted to develop a stronger case for the measure than warranted by the scientific evidence. We argue that the content of the Brock Committee's deliberations conforms in broad terms to the predictions of social learning theory, but that the process was more complicated than this framework would suggest, involving a significant element of interest-group lobbying, thereby weakening the autonomy of state policy makers. Furthermore, the deliberations themselves give cause to revise the laudatory view, more or less explicit in social learning theory, of policy experts' machinations.
 
Article
Probably no group of political actors is more misunderstood than American assassins. My purpose in this preliminary report is to identify the sources of this misunderstanding and to suggest an alternative interpretation based on a reconsideration of the evidence.
 
Article
The distribution of cabinet posts in multiparty coalition governments in twelve European countries in the period 1945-1983 is considered. The efficacy of three payoff theories, namely Gamson's proportional payoff, the kernel and the bargaining set, as predictors of portfolio distribution, are compared. It is found that the Gamson predictor is superior in five countries which tend to be characterized by a relatively unfragmented political system, while the bargaining set is more appropriate in the highly fragmented political systems. The kernel can be disregarded as a payoff predictor. The results provide some empirical justification for the restricted (B2) bargaining set as a payoff predictor in simple voting games with transferable value.
 
Ministerial survivor function, 1945–97 
Ministerial survivor function and government characteristics 
Article
We analyse the determinants of ministerial hazard rates in Britain from 1945 to 1997. We focus on three sets of attributes (i) personal characteristics of the minister; (ii) political characteristics of the minister; and (iii) characteristics pertaining to the government in which the minister serves. We find that educational background increases ministers' capacity to survive, that female ministers have lower hazard rates and older ministers have higher hazard rates. Experienced ministers have higher hazard rates than newly appointed ministers. Ministerial rank increases a minister's capacity to survive, with full cabinet members having the lowest hazard rates in our sample.We use different strategies to control for the characteristics of the government the minister serves in. Our results are robust to any of these controls.
 
Mean scores on the independent variables in 47 societies, mid-1990s
Figure A2: Histogram of the Social Capital Index (Associational Activism*Social Trust)
Article
Many theorists have long emphasized the importance of civic society and voluntary associations as vital to the lifeblood of democracy. Interest in this perennial topic has been revived by Putnam's theory of social capital claiming that rich and dense associational networks facilitate the underlying conditions of interpersonal trust, tolerance and cooperation, providing the social foundations for a vibrant democracy. Despite widespread interest, conclusive evidence supporting these claims in a wide range of nations remains elusive. The first part of this paper reviews and summarizes three central claims at the heart of Putnam?s theory. Part II outlines the conceptual and methodological problems of measuring trends in social capital with the available empirical evidence. Part III develops an index of social capital, combining the distribution of associational activism with social trust. In Part IV this Index is operationalized and measured using the World Values Study to compare the distribution and dimensions of social capital in the mid-1990s in 47 nations around the world. Part V uses the Index to examine the consequences of social capital and its component parts for socioeconomic and democratic development. The study establishes predictable patterns in the distribution of social capital around the world, and long-standing cultural traditions and historical legacies can help to explain the contrasts found among global regions. There are two core components in Putnam's definition of social capital, social networks and social trust. The study finds that when combined into a single index it is true, as Putnam suggests, that social capital is strongly and significantly related to multiple interrelated indicators of socioeconomic development and to institutional indicators of democratization. But if we disentangle the twin components of Putnam's definition of social capital, what is driving this process is the social trust dimension, not the associational network dimension. Given the ambiguities in operationalization, three alternative measures of associational membership and activism are employed and tested, in exploratory analysis, but these are rarely significant across almost all indicators, no matter which measure is used. Moreover social capital was only weakly related to cultural indicators of political system support. The conclusion considers the implications of the results for "making democracies work", and whether a strong and vibrant civic society is a necessary condition for the process of democratization.
 
Article
The problem of aggregation processes in alignments is the subject of a paper published in a Statistical Physics Journal (Physica A 230 (1996) 174-188). Two models are presented and discussed in that paper. First the energy landscape model proposed by Axelrod and Bennett (B. J. Pol. S. 23 (1993) 211-233) is analysed. The model is shown not to include most of its claimed results. Then a second model is presented to reformulate correctly the problem within statistical physics and to extend it beyond the initial Axelrod-Bennett analogy.
 
Coalitions by vote distribution 
Frequency of coalitions, minimal winning and larger, connected and not 
Frequency of coalitions containing superfluous parties 
shows the frequency of two forms of 'sincere' voting on the part of P- participants, firstly voting for their own party and secondly voting for some other 
Article
In multi-party democracies, several parties usually have to join together in coalition to form government. Many aspects of that process have been fairly fully investigated, others less so. Among the latter is the timing of the formation and announcement of coalitions. While the dominant popular image may be one of parties meeting together after the election to hammer out a coalition agreement, pre-election coalitions of one sort or another are actually quite common. In almost half of the elections in OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries since the Second World War, at least one pair of parties had pre-announced their intention to join together in government. A quarter of governments formed were based wholly (and another quarter in part) on pre-election agreements. To date, such studies as there have been of pre-election coalitions have concentrated primarily on system-level explanations – features of the electoral system (majoritarian or proportional, and so on) that make such arrangements more or less likely.3 Here we shall instead look more at the agent-level logic of ‘early’ (pre-election) versus ‘late’ (post-election) coalition formation, from the point of view of voters and parties. hypotheses concerning coalition timing In the tradition of Downs and Riker and their coalition-theorist progeny, we shall assume that voters are interested primarily in getting policies adopted which are close to their ‘ideal points’ in policy space, and that parties are interested primarily in winning office to implement policies as close as possible to their ‘ideal points’ in policy space. That leads parties to strive for ‘minimal connected winning coalitions’: ‘connected’ in the sense that they link parties adjacent in policy space; ‘minimal’ in the sense that they involve the party's sharing power with the fewest parties backed by fewest voters that it can and still win.
 
Article
Regular church attendance is strongly associated with a higher probability of voting. It is an open question as to whether this association, which has been confirmed in numerous surveys, is causal. We use the repeal of the laws restricting Sunday retail activity ("Blue laws") to measure the effects of church-going on political participation. The repeal of Blue Laws caused a 5 percent decrease in church attendance. We measure the effect of Blue Laws' repeal on political participation and find that following the repeal turnout falls by approximately 1 percentage point. This turnout decline, which is statistically significant and fairly robust across model specifications, is consistent with the large effect of church attendance on turnout reported in the literature, and suggests that church attendance may have significant causal influence on voter turnout.
 
Article
Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effects of this uncertainty, a stochastic dynamic growth model with the public sector is examined. It is shown that deterministic excessive red tape and corruption deteriorate the growth potential through income redistribution and public sector inefficiencies. Most importantly, it is demonstrated that the increase in corruption via higher uncertainty exerts adverse effects on capital accumulation, thus leading to lower growth rates.
 
Article
Discussions of international and of gender justice both legitimately demand that principles of justice abstract from differences between cases and that judgements of justice respond to differences between them. Abstraction and sensitivity to context are often treated as incompatible: abstraction is taken to endorse idealized models of individual and state; sensitivity to human differences is identified with relativism. Neither identification is convincing: abstract principles do not entail uniform treatment; responsiveness to difference does not hinge on relativism. These points are used to criticize discussions of international and gender justice by liberals, communitarians and feminists. An alternative account of justice is sketched, which combines abstract principles with consideration of human differences in the application of principles. The case of poor women in impoverished economies – a hard case both for gender and for international justice – illustrates how universal, abstract principles of justice may not only permit but mandate differentiated application.
 
Determinants of Turnout in the 1997 British General Election
Article
This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection as well as empirical evidence on the effects of patent rights. Then, the second part considers the international aspects of IPR protection. In summary, this paper draws the following conclusions from the literature. Firstly, different patent policy instruments have different effects on R&D and growth. Secondly, there is empirical evidence supporting a positive relationship between IPR protection and innovation, but the evidence is stronger for developed countries than for developing countries. Thirdly, the optimal level of IPR protection should tradeoff the social benefits of enhanced innovation against the social costs of multiple distortions and income inequality. Finally, in an open economy, achieving the globally optimal level of protection requires an international coordination (rather than the harmonization) of IPR protection.
 
Article
Schultz argues that governments will have less incentive to manipulate the economy when they lead in the polls. He tests this model on UK data and finds some support for the hypothesis. However, there are theoretical reasons to expect that the relationship is an inverted ?U? or possibly some other non-linear relationship. Moreover, there is evidence of mispecification in Schultz?s model. In the event, Schultz?s results turn out to be broadly supported. However, there is an additional, strong non-linearity in operation. Secure governments do indeed hold back from manipulating the economy; but insecure governments pull out all the available stops to avoid defeat. This is inconsistent with a formal model of the process, but is consistent with a `panic struck' view of the electoral process.
 
Article
Political business cycle theories tend to focus on one policy instrument or macroeconomic lever at a time. Efforts to find empirical evidence of opportunistic business cycles have turned up rather meager results. We suggest that these facts may be related. If ways of manipulating the economy to win votes are thought of as substitutes, with changing relative costs, one would expect rational policy makers to switch between them in different periods as costs change. We illustrate this argument with a discussion of Russia. In Russia, four nationwide votes have been held since 1993. We deduce the set of policies that a rational, behind-the-scenes strategist--the "Chudar" of the title--would recommend to an incumbent who believes the voters to vote retrospectively. We show that the expectations are born out closely in the actual macroeconomic data.
 
Article
An 'analytic narrative' is the presentation of crucial historical events, using the intuitions of rational choice theory, to clarify the motivations and beliefs of the principal actors. This article attempts to understand a dilemma embedded in the Declaration of Independence: the expected costs of war against Britain far exceeded any possible benefits, if these are construed simply as the removal of colonial taxation. Furthermore, war against Britain necessitated an alliance with a potential aggressive power, France. An analysis is presented indicating that the benefits also included the enormous reward of the west and the 'costs' incorporated possible future aggression by France and Spain. The narrative is extended to the Ratification of the Constitution in 1787, to suggest that the Federalists, and Madison, justifiably feared Spanish aggression in the Mississippi Valley. In the 1790s, consensus (about credible threats by the European powers) fragmented, and this led to entirely different policy preferences by Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans. Napoleon's imperial intentions in Louisiana were, however, thwarted by the defeat of the French forces in Haiti in 1802-03. The result was the Louisiana Purchase of 1803-04. While the necessary causes of these various constitutional transformations can be appreciated, there appears to be an element of contingency, or happenstance, embedded in the sufficient Causes. The purpose of the exercise is to attempt to understand the possibly chaotic basis of rapid institutional change.
 
Article
Nations have historically sought power and prosperity through control of physical space. In recent decades, however, territorial empire has largely ceased. Most states that can take and hold territory no longer appear eager to do so, while the weak are unable to expand. Have powerful countries become 'kinder and gentler', or has something fundamental changed about the logic of empire? We offer a theory of imperialism and decolonization that explains both historic cycles of expansion and decline and the demise of the urge to colonize. Technological shocks enable expansion, while military technology gradually disseminates, diluting imperial advantage. At the same time, economic development has led to a secular decline in the payoffs for appropriating land, minerals, and reluctant labor. Once conquest no longer pays for great powers, the systemic imperative to vertically integrate production also becomes archaic.
 
Article
Using cross-sectional and pooled data for up to 125 countries over the period from 1960 to 1985, this paper evaluates the two-way linkages between democracy and economic growth. The effects of income on democracy are found to be robust and positive. The effects of several measures of democracy on growth are assessed in a comparative growth framework in which growth of per capita GDP depends negatively on initial income levels, as implied by the convergence hypothesis, and positively on rates of investment in physical and human capital. Adjusting for the simultaneous determination of income and democracy makes the estimated direct effect of democracy on subsequent economic growth negative but insignificant. Allowing for the possible positive indirect effect of democracy on income, flowing through the positive effect of democracy on education and investment, tends to offset the negative direct effect of democracy on economic growth. The general result of the growth analysis is that it is still not possible to identify any systematic net effects of democracy on subsequent economic growth.
 
Article
Analysis of the economic transformation of the Polish economy and of the 1993 elections for Parliament suggest that it is possible to proceed with pro-market and democratic reforms simultaneously. As demonstrated by the Polish case, the key to this process is the rate at which new enterprises are created. These enterprises, not the privatization of existing ones, are responsible for the creation of a private economy. This evolving new economy based on firm creation and growth creates a pro-reform constituency in the regions where it is occurring. This constituency provides strong support for pro-reform parties. The Polish case also illustrates how electoral rules and their interaction with the evolution of pro-reform constituencies affect the representation of pro-reform interests. The Polish case offers important lessons about the reform process and about the way scholars conceptualize political-economic processes.
 
Article
This paper tests various hypotheses about distributive politics by studying the distribution of federal spending across U.S. states over the period 1978-2002. We improve on previous work by using survey data to measure the share of voters in each state that are Democrats, Republicans, and independents, or liberals, conservatives and moderates. We find no evidence that the allocation of federal spending to the states is distorted by strategic manipulation to win electoral support. States with many swing voters are not advantaged compared to states with more loyal voters, nor do “battleground states” attract more federal funds. Moreover, we find that spending has little or no effect on voters’ choices, whereas partisanship and ideology have massive effects.
 
Article
Whether voters vote strategically, using their vote to best further their interests, or vote sincerely, voting for their first choice among the alternatives, is a question of long-standing interest. We offer two innovations in searching for the answer to this question. First, we begin with a more consistent model of sincere voting in multiparty democratic systems than has been presented in the literature to date. Second, we incorporate new operationalizations of the objective potential for strategic behavior than have been used in the past. We offer a test of strategic voting in the 1987 British General Election based on the variance in strategic setting across constituencies in Britain. We allow voters to use available information in deciding whether or not to cast a strategic vote. We estimate a lower level of strategic voting than many other methods have estimated. We also demonstrate that the use of self-reported vote motivation causes errors in estimating the amount of strategic voting, and that this problem is exacerbated the further from the election the self-report is obtained.
 
Article
We study the relationship between voters' preferences and the composition of party platforms in two-party democratic elections with adaptive parties. In the model, a political party locally adapts a platform on an electoral landscape. The electoral landscape is determined by the preferences of voters and the opposition party's platform. We find that adaptive parties tend to adopt moderate platforms regrdless of voters' preference. We explore how, by varying the distribution of voters' preferences, we can alter the landscape's ruggedness. Greater ruggedness lessens a party's ability to respond to voters' preferences. In other words, landscape ruggedness tempers the responsiveness of parties.
 
Article
We analyse the liberal ethics of non-interference applied to social choice. Two liberal principles capturing non-interfering views of society, inspired by J.S. Mill's conception of liberty are examined, which capture the idea that society should not penalise agents after changes in their situation that do not affect others. Two paradoxes of liberal approaches are highlighted. First, it is shown that a restricted view of non-interference, as reflected in the Individual Damage Principle, together with some standard axioms in social choice leads straight to welfare egalitarianism. Second, it is proved that every weakly paretian social welfare ordering that satisfies a general principle of noninterference must be dictatorial. Both paradoxes raise important issues for liberal approaches in social choice and political philosophy.
 
An overview of potential biases  
Job Satisfaction Equations of ESC and GSS with and without mastery scale
Article
In this paper we employ World Values Survey measures of life satisfaction as though they were direct measures of utility, and use them to evaluate alternative features and forms of government in large international samples. We find that life satisfaction is more closely linked to several World Bank measures of the quality of government than to real per capita incomes, in simple correlations and more fully specified models explaining international differences in life satisfaction. We test for differences in the relative importance of different aspects of good government, and find a hierarchy of preferences that depends on the level of development. The ability of governments to provide a trustworthy environment, and to deliver services honestly and efficiently, appears to be of paramount importance for countries with worse governance and lower incomes. The balance changes once acceptable levels of efficiency, trust and incomes are achieved, when more value is attached to building and maintaining the institutions of electoral democracy.
 
The diffusion of preferential trade agreements
The spatial weight for the dyad Chile-U.S. (schematic representation)
Article
Since 1990 the number of preferential trade agreements has increased rapidly. Our argument explains this phenomenon, known as the new regionalism, as a result of competition for market access. Exporters that face trade diversion because of their exclusion from a preferential trade agreement concluded by foreign countries push their governments into signing an agreement with the country in which their exports are threatened. We test our argument in a quantitative analysis of the proliferation of preferential trade agreements among 167 countries between 1990 and 2007. The finding that competition for market access is a major driving force of the new regionalism is a contribution to the literature on regionalism and to broader debates about global economic regulation.
 
Article
this paper is to address these problems, by devising indicators for the central concepts of the varieties of capitalism approach and subjecting its core contentions to aggregate empirical tests. We begin by developing indices to measure the balance between market-oriented and strategic coordination in the political economy. We then assess the core postulates of the theory about institutional complementarities in the macroeconomy, devising further measures for this purpose. Finally, we examine patterns of political adjustment and institutional change in order to assess the durability of the national distinctions identified by this approach. Before considering its specific propositions, we open with an overview of the varieties-of-capitalism perspective
 
Measures of Association c Among Perceptions of the Economy
Probit and Ordered Probit Estimates of a Model of Economic Perceptions
Multinomial Probit Estimates of Model of 1996 Presidential Vote
Impact of Economic Variables on Vote Probabilities
Article
The mass political economy literature concentrates on egocentric and sociotropic evaluations of short-term economic performance. Scant attention is paid to other economic concerns people mayhave. In a neo-liberal economic climate characterized by a downsized labor market and the retrenchment of government welfare entitlements, one such widely-publicized concern is job insecurity. This article shows that job insecurityisanovel form of discontent that is independent of the retrospective evaluations of short-term performance that are the stu# of the mainstream mass political economy literature. At the same time, the political e#ects of job insecurity are distinctive. In a multinomial probit model of electoral choice in the 1996 U.S. presidential election, job insecurity is associated with support for the third-party candidate, Ross Perot, but, contrary to conventional wisdom, has no implications for turnout. Traditional retrospectiveevaluations of economic performance explain the major-pa...
 
Article
Voting power indexes such as that of Banzhaf are derived, explicitly or implicitly, from the assumption that all votes are equally likely (i.e., random voting). That assumption implies that the probability of a vote being decisive in a jurisdiction with n voters is proportional to 1/√n. In this article the authors show how this hypothesis has been empirically tested and rejected using data from various US and European elections. They find that the probability of a decisive vote is approximately proportional to 1/n. The random voting model (and, more generally, the square-root rule) overestimates the probability of close elections in larger jurisdictions. As a result, classical voting power indexes make voters in large jurisdictions appear more powerful than they really are. The most important political implication of their result is that proportionally weighted voting systems (that is, each jurisdiction gets a number of votes proportional to n) are basically fair. This contradicts the claim in the voting power literature that weights should be approximately proportional to √n.
 
Article
I propose and test an informational theory of endogenous election timing. I assume leaders have more accurate estimates of future outcomes than citizens. The prospect of declining future performance spurs leaders to call early elections. Since leaders condition their timing decisions on their expectations of future performance, early elections signal a leader's lack of confidence in future outcomes. The earlier elections occur, relative to expectations, the stronger the signal of demise. Using data on British parliaments since 1945, I test hypotheses relating the timing of elections, electoral support and subsequent economic performance. As predicted, leaders who call elections early, relative to expectations, experience a decline in their popular support relative to pre-announcement levels. 2 There has been debate as to whether the Prime Minister has complete discretion over the decision to dissolve parliament, or whether he or she requires legitimate circumstances (see Wilson (197...
 
Article
Building upon Poole and Rosenthal’s NOMINATE technique and Kalt and Zupan’s residualization approach, I seek to disentangle the influences of constituency interests, party and ideology on the votes of MPs in the famous Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. I argue that while the Conservative party shared a distinct ideology, it was also a coalition of two interests-based alliances. The non-Peelite Conservatives represented mostly (protectionist oriented) agricultural districts while the Peelites represented districts with more free trade leaning interests. Before 1846, Peelites voted according to a general Conservative ideology, but in 1846 an abrupt change occurred: the pivotal Peelites appear to have eschewed Conservative party unity and their own personal ideology in favour more of the preferences of their constituents. Repeal appears to have gained passage as these MPs switched from voting more as trustees to voting more as delegates.
 
Average Characteristics of Ministers by Government 
Average Tenure and Characteristcs of Ministers by Ministerial Rank 
The Determinants of Ministerial Durations. Hazard Ratios From Cox Models 
The Determinants of Ministerial Durations for Selected Sub-Samples. Hazard Ratios From Cox Models 
Article
We analyse the determinants of ministerial hazard rates in the UK from 1945-1997. We focus on three sets of attributes i) personal characteristics of the minister; ii) political characteristics of the minister and iii) characteristics pertaining to the government in which the minister serves. We find that educational background increases ministers' capacity to survive, that female ministers have lower hazard rates and older ministers have higher hazard rates. Experienced ministers have higher hazard than newly appointed ministers. Ministerial rank increases a ministers' capacity to survive, with full cabinet members having the lowest hazard rates in our sample. We use different strategies to controls for the characteristics of the government the ministers serve in. Our results are robust to any of these controls.
 
Article
Systems theorists introduced the concept of "support" to permit explanations of political stability and instability. Yet most attempts to verify the existence of a relationship between support and stability empirically have dealt with wellestablished political systems, and have relied on data collected at one point in time. This paper reports an initial effort to examine the growth of support for a new political regime using a series of sample surveys providing data on changes in the level of support over time.
 
Figure A1: The Court's Criminal Justice Issue Agenda, 1955-1994  
Article
In recent decades, political science has turned to the study of agenda setting as a central aspect of collective decision-making environments. The content of the public agenda – and the issue agendas of political institutions – make significant social change possible. Recent studies suggest that these political institutions are engaged in both competitive relationships, as they identify and pursue both active and latent public issues, and more complex cue-taking relationships. For separated powers, the problems of co-operation and competition with one another are entwined with internal collective decision-making dilemmas. In this study, we focus on the tension within a political institution between agenda setting as a mechanism for internal organizational maintenance, and agenda setting as a consequence of that institution's interaction with other branches of government and the general public. Specifically, we examine agenda setting by the United States Supreme Court, and ask the question of why the Court allocates more or less of its valuable agenda space to one policy issue over others. Our study environment is the policy issue composition of the Court's docket: the Court's attention to criminal justice policy issues relative to other issues. Among the most important powers of the Court is the power to apportion its agenda space among policy issues. Pacelle argues that the Court's agenda-building process, its culling of cases and issues from numerous petitions, may represent the most important sequence of decisions the Court makes. But the Court's docket is a finite agenda space on which some issues are provided with a larger proportion of the Court's attention. Allocating space to an issue can promote the issue's national visibility and legitimacy as an important public concern.
 
Internal ideological diversity and national fragmentation of the two main party groups
Ideological distance between the four main party groups
Article
How cohesive are political parties in the European Parliament? What coalitions form and why? The answers to these questions are central for understanding the impact of the European Parliament on European Union policies. These questions are also central in the study of legislative behaviour in general. We collected the total population of roll-call votes in the European Parliament, from the first elections in 1979 to the end of 2001 (over 11,500 votes). The data show growing party cohesion despite growing internal national and ideological diversity within the European party groups. We also find that the distance between parties on the left–right dimension is the strongest predictor of coalition patterns. We conclude that increased power of the European Parliament has meant increased power for the transnational parties, via increased internal party cohesion and inter-party competition.
 
Article
In French election studies, a central debate concerns the French voter's "standing decision" -- is it party or ideology? The debate has been ongoing because of data and measurement issues and, we add, because of an inadequate understanding of the role electoral institutions play. The 1995 French National Election Study allows a fresh attack on these questions. It contains promising party and ideology measures, on a very large national sample. Both party identification and left-right ideological identification are shown to be widely held, with the latter more so. Their relative structural effects are found to depend heavily on the dynamics of the dual ballot. Party is more important for electoral choice on the first ballot, while ideology is more important on the second. This finding, demonstrated in fully specified logistic regression models of the presidential vote, seems also to inhere in the logic of French electoral institutions. The two-ballot rules, coupled with the pervasiveness of ideological and party identification in the public mind, go far towards revealing and explaining an underlying stability of the French political system.
 
Article
I employ automated content analysis to measure the dimensionality of Senate debates on the 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and compare these results with the final vote. The underlying verbal conflict leading up to the final roll call vote contains two important dimensions: (1) an emotive battle over the abortion procedure itself, and (2) the battle over the constitutionality of the bill. Surprisingly, senators appear not to have voted along the first dimension of the verbal conflict, but rather along the second dimension. The analysis of the deliberations of senators not only enables us to understand the complexity of the arguments that is not captured in the vote, but it also uncovers (and measures empirically) the strategies employed by legislators to shape the relevant lines of conflict, and ultimately, the final content of the bill.
 
Article
In recent decades, many developed democracies have experienced high immigration, and public attitudes are likely to shape their responses. Yet prior studies of ethnocentrism and stereotyping make divergent predictions about how differentiated anti-immigration attitudes are. Some approaches contend that culturally distinctive immigrants will consistently generate increased opposition, while others predict that natives' reactions will depend on the cultural distinction in question and associated stereotypes. This paper tests these hypotheses using realistic, video-based experiments with representative American samples. The results refute the expectation that more culturally distinctive immigrants necessarily induce anti-immigration views: exposure to Latino immigrants with darker skin tones or who speak Spanish does not increase restrictionist attitudes. Instead, the impact of out-group cues hinges on their content and related norms, as immigrants who speak accented English seem to counteract negative stereotypes related to immigrant assimilation.
 
OLS Estimates on Rival Models of Ballot Access
Article
During the nineteenth century, a presidential voter actually selected a party-prepared candidate list, casting it in full view of others. The "Australian" ballot, adopted in nearly all states by 1900, took away party preparation of the ballot. State officials now prepared overall candidate lists from which the voter picked in secret. The introduction of the Australian ballot was heralded as a blow against political corruption and for "good government". But practical questions arose. With the state itself responsible for the ballot, how should it decide which candidates to list? Some barriers to entry seemed necessary, otherwise the list would be unwieldy. Each of the states began to pass laws restricting ballot access, often aimed at third parties.
 
Article
Parliamentary decision making is a growth area in the study of the British House of Commons. This is a facet of the behaviour of Members of Parliament (MPs) that tended to be ignored as long as the Commons was seen as a legislature that, cravenly subject to party discipline, simply rubber-stamped policy decisions made by the party leadership. By the 1960s, cohesive party voting had reached the point where . fn2 But more recently, this image of the Commons and its members has worn at the edges. While party loyalty remains very much the norm, MPs have shown themselves more willing than in the past to assert themselves against their party's leadership in order to exercise greater policy influence. One prominent example is the select committee system set up in 1979 to improve parliamentary scrutiny of the executive. fn3 Another is the higher incidence ofbackbench rebellion and dissent in the division lobbies after the mid-1960s. fn4
 
Article
Has regime transition in Russia generated a major cleavage in its elite structure and, if so, what is its nature? The concern of political scientists and reformers is that the presence of communist era elites in the post-Soviet regime, which have retained their core values and recirculated into positions of power, may be a significant obstacle to the consolidation of democracy and a market economy. While the communist system disintegrated with surprising rapidity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it is not clear whether the norms internalised by elites operating under the system have changed along with the political system or whether the values and assumptions of the old pattern of government continue to be influential.
 
Article
Government Numerous scholars have documented a dramatic increase in incumbency advantage in US congressional elections and also state legislative elections over the past four decades. For example, Gelman and King show that incumbents in the House of Representatives now receive about twelve extra percentage points solely as a result of holding congressional office during the campaign; the comparable figure for most of the first half of this century was only 2 per cent. This advantage of incumbency has made members of the US House and many state legislators nearly invulnerable to electoral defeat.
 
Article
This article develops a novel explanation for the incumbency advantage based on incumbents’ ability to signal positions that are ideologically distinct from those of their parties. Using voter-level data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study and controlling for unobserved district heterogeneity, the study finds that voters in US House elections primarily use information about the ideology of candidates’ parties to infer the location of challengers, while they instead rely on information about the individual candidates’ ideologies to place incumbents. In higher-profile Senate elections, the difference between challengers and incumbents is trivial. Decomposing the incumbency advantage into valence and signaling components, the study finds that the signaling mechanism explains 14 per cent of the incumbency advantage in House elections, but only 5 per cent of the advantage in Senate contests. It also finds that a 50 per cent increase in party polarization increases the incumbency advantage by 3 percentage points.
 
Article
"Scholars, activists, and policy makers have argued that the route to economic growth in Africa runs through political reform. In particular, they prescribe electoral accountability as a step toward economic reform, seeing it as inducing the choice of publicly beneficial as opposed to privately profitable economic policies. To assess the validity of such arguments, we first characterize a set of political institutions that render political elites accountable and derive their expected impact on the policy choices of governments. Using ratings of macro-economic policy produced by the World Bank and ratings of corrupt practices produced for private investors, we explore the relationship between institutional forms and policy choices on both an African and global sample. While key elements of the model find empirical support, the central argument receives mixed support in the data. Political institutions have a stronger influence on policy making in Africa than elsewhere and variation in African institutions and in the structure of African economies account for differences between policy choices in Africa and those made in the rest of the world. Political accountability however does not influence the choice of macro-economic policies in the manner suggested by reformist arguments; although it does appear to lead to less political predation."
 
Article
The Hutton Report is now established as an important element of Britain's involvement in the Iraq War. In this article the ideas that underpin it are analysed. In particular, the focus is on Hutton's presuppositions concerning the nature of truth, agency, subjectivity, meaning and language. It is shown how unquestioned assumptions structured his method and shaped his conclusions. Although such presuppositions are widely shared by the public, too, a discursive conflict within the report is identified, revealing a sub-text of competing understandings that protagonists invoked. These suggest a more phenomenological and intersubjective approach to the interpretation of events. The conclusion is that Dr Kelly and the BBC were victims of a particular sense of truth and that Hutton failed to situate important actors and events within geopolitical, institutional, experiential and affective structures. The author suggests that a greater appreciation of the contingent way information enters the public domain (itself more evident in the Butler Report) is a pre-condition for better intelligence and public policy making.
 
Legislative bargaining under Maastricht and Amsterdam 
Executive Appointment Bargaining under Maastricht and Amsterdam 
Article
It is a widely accepted that the 1999 Treaty of Amsterdam significantly increased the powers of the European Parliament (EP). The critical question, however, is why the European Union (EU) governments did this. I argue, contrary to existing explanations, that these changes came about because the EP was a ‘constitutional agenda-setter’. The rules in the EU Treaty, as established at Maastricht, were incomplete contracts, and the EU governments had imperfect information about the precise operation of the Treaty. As a result, the EP was able to re-interpret these rules to its advantage and threaten not to co-operate with the governments unless they accepted the EP’s interpretations. The article shows how this process of discretion, interpretation and acceptance worked in the two main areas of EP power: in the legislative process (in the reform of the co-decision procedure), and in executive appointment (in the reform of the Commission investiture procedure). The article concludes that ‘agenda-setting through discretion in rule interpretation’ is a common story in the development of the powers of parliaments, both at the domestic and EU levels.
 
Article
Legislators and legislative parties must strike a delicate balance between pursuing collective and member-level goals. While there are both legislative and reputational returns to coordinated behavior, party loyalty is known to have a detrimental effect on members' electoral success, which at least partially undermines parties' goal of seat maximization. We argue that members and parties navigate these competing forces by pursuing partisan legislation when the threat of electoral repercussions is relatively low. This condition is met when members are most insulated from electoral demands - when elections are distant. We empirically test our theory by examining House members' likelihood of casting a party vote over the course of the election cycle. In particular, we seek to assess whether members strategically alter their levels of party loyalty with respect to election proximity. We also explore whether majority parties strategically structure the agenda according to variation in members' electoral constraints. This approach builds upon the existing literature by providing for the possibility that individual- and collective-level partisanship follows a highly dynamic process, which we term dynamic partisanship. We find that with increasing proximity to election, members are less likely to cast party votes and parties are less inclined to schedule votes that divide the parties. In addition, we show that dynamic partisanship has important policy implications. In particular, bills introduced late in the election cycle are less likely to encounter partisan manipulation via amendments than those introduced when elections are distant.
 
Article
This article analyses the origins and consequences of multicameral representation and voting in international organizations. It is argued that the existence of visible and durable conflicts in an issue area can make standard procedures such as unicameral majority voting ineffective with respect to the functioning of the regime. Applying spatial models of strategic decision making, it is asserted that multicameralism is more likely to be effective than unicameralism if chambers consist of key groups with distinct interests. Empirical evidence is provided by studying the multicameral voting rule in the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). I compare likely decision-making outcomes under unicameral and multicameral voting rules from 1996 to 2002 and find that multicameral outcomes are more likely to be stable and supported by those actors critical for the effective functioning of the regime.
 
Article
Jonathan Aldred shares our desire to promote a reconciliation between social choice theory and deliberative democracy in the interests of a more comprehensive and compelling account of democracy.1 His comments on some details of our analysis – specifically, our use of Arrow’s conditions of universal domain and independence of irrelevant alternatives – give us an opportunity to clarify our position. His discussion of the independence condition in particular identifies some ambiguity in our exposition, and as such is useful. We are less impressed by the way Aldred characterizes the overall terms of the reconciliation we propose. We believe that his argument on this matter should be resisted because it provides deliberative democrats with a bad excuse to dismiss social choice theory altogether, which is surely not what he intends.
 
Article
Previous research has shown that institutional factors, particularly 'direct democracy', along with racial context, shape policy outcomes in the fifty American states. But less is understood about the impact of such factors on attitudes towards government of racial and ethnic minorities. The passage of ballot initiatives targeting minority interests might be expected to have a negative effect on these groups. This study considers the impact of institutional and social context on attitudes about government responsiveness (external efficacy), drawing on pooled NES survey data from 1988-98 merged with state level data. Consistent with previous research, which was based on a single year, there is strong evidence that citizens in states with frequent exposure to direct democracy are more likely to perceive that government is responsive to their needs. At the same time, direct democracy did not have the hypothesized detrimental impact on racial and ethnic group attitudes towards government in general. State racial context also did not have a measurable impact on individual-level attitudes. Regardless of state environmental contexts, however, racial and ethnic minorities (with the exception of Latinos) reported less confidence in government than whites. The findings have broader implications, particularly given the growing racial and ethnic diversity and the ongoing politics of democratic inclusion in America.
 
Article
American elections depends substantially on the vitality of the national economy. Prosperity benefits candidates for the House of Representatives from the incumbent party (defined as the party that controls the presidency at the time of the election), whereas economic downturns enhance the electoral fortunes of opposition candidates. Short-term fluctuations in economic conditions also to appear to affect the electorates's presidential choice, as well as the level of public approval conferred upon the president during his term. By this evidence, the political consequences of macroeconomic conditions are both pervasive an powerful. But just how do citizens know whether the incumbant party has succeeded or failed? What kinds of economic evidence do people weigh in their political appraisals? The purpose of our paper is to examine two contrasting depictions of individual citizens - emphasizing the political signifigance of citizens' own economic predicaments, the other stressing the political importance.
 
Article
As most political scientists know, the outcome of the American presidential election can be predicted within a few percentage points (in the popular vote), based on information available months before the election. Thus, the general campaign for president seems irrelevant to the outcome (except in very close elections), despite all the media coverage of campaign strategy. However, it is also well known that the pre-election opinion polls can vary wildly over the campaign, and this variation is generally attributed to events in the campaign. How can campaign events affect people's opinions on whom they plan to vote for, and yet not affect the outcome of the election? For that matter, why do voters consistently increase their support for a candidate during his nominating convention, even though the conventions are almost entirely predictable events whose effects can be rationally forecast? In this exploratory study, we consider several intuitively appealing, but ultimately wrong, resolutions to this puzzle and discuss our current understanding of what causes opinion polls to fluctuate while reaching a predictable outcome. Our evidence is based on graphical presentation and analysis of over 67,000 individual-level responses from forty-nine commercial polls during the 1988 campaign and many other aggregate poll results from the 1952–92 campaigns. We show that responses to pollsters during the campaign are not generally informed or even, in a sense we describe, ‘rational’. In contrast, voters decide, based on their enlightened preferences, as formed by the information they have learned during the campaign, as well as basic political cues such as ideology and party identification, which candidate to support eventually. We cannot prove this conclusion, but we do show that it is consistent with the aggregate forecasts and individual-level opinion poll responses. Based on the enlightened preferences hypothesis, we conclude that the news media have an important effect on the outcome of presidential elections – not through misleading advertisements, sound bites, or spin doctors, but rather by conveying candidates' positions on important issues.
 
Top-cited authors
Hanspeter Kriesi
  • European University Institute
Liesbet Hooghe
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill & RSC EUI Florence
Catherine de Vries
  • University of Oxford
Arjan H. Schakel
  • Maastricht University
George Tsebelis
  • University of Michigan