Compound Democracies: Why the United States and Europe Are Becoming Similar

Paperback | September 26, 2010

bySergio Fabbrini

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This is a major new comparison of the American and European political systems. By deploying a powerful new model to analyse the two systems it draws some challenging conclusions about their increasing similarity. Professor Fabbrini argues that the process of regional integration in Europe overthe last 60 years, has significantly reduced the historical differences between the democracies on either side of the Atlantic. The EU and the US are now similar because they represent two different species of the same political genus: the compound democracy. The defining feature of compounddemocracy is the union of states and their citizens. Through such union, the states agree to pool their sovereignty within a larger integrated supra-state or supranational framework. They do so because these unions are primarily pacts for avoiding war. Because the states which made those unionswere, and continue to be, asymmetrically correlated, any attempt to create a unified polity - that is a political system where the decision-making power is monopolized by only one institution - is likely to fail. He goes on to argue that the US and the EU are based on a multiple diffusion of powerswhich guarantees that any interest can have a voice in the decision-making process and no majority will be able to control all the institutional levels of the polity. This type of system allows an inter-states organization to operate as a supra-state polity - but it does so at the expense ofdecision-making capacity and accountability.

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This is a major new comparison of the American and European political systems. By deploying a powerful new model to analyse the two systems it draws some challenging conclusions about their increasing similarity. Professor Fabbrini argues that the process of regional integration in Europe overthe last 60 years, has significantly reduce...

Sergio Fabbrini is Professor of Political Science and Director of the School of International Studies at the University of Trento. He is the Editor of the "Italian Journal of Political Science". He is Recurrent Visiting Professor of Comparative and American Politics at the Department of Political Science and Institute of Governmental ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:September 26, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199566003

ISBN - 13:9780199566006

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Democratic transformations in Europe and AmericaPart I: Transatlantic democracies: The era of institutional divergence2. Differentiation in authority structures: state, nation and democracy in Europe and America3. Institutionalization of different governmental patterns: separation and fusion of powers in America and Europe4. Alternative paths to a modern social order: territoriality, market and welfare in America and Europe5. Different structuring of partisan politics in America and Europe: the role of parties in the political processPart II: Transatlantic democracies: the era of institutional convergence6. American compound democracy and its challenges: the domestic implications of global power7. Structural transformation of European politics: the growth of supranational European Union8. Compound democracy in America and Europe: comparing the US and the EU9. The constitutionalization of the US and the EU compound democracies10. The puzzle of compound democracy: a comparative perspectiveBibliography