Organizing Democratic Choice: Party Representation Over Time

Hardcover | June 28, 2012

byIan Budge, Michael McDonald, Paul Pennings

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This bold venture into democratic theory offers a new and reinvigorating thesis for how democracy delivers on its promise of public control over public policy. In theory, popular control could be achieved through a process entirely driven by supply-side politics, with omniscient and strategicpolitical parties converging on the median voter's policy preference at every turn. However, this would imply that there would be no distinguishable political parties (or even any reason for parties to exist) and no choice for a public to make. The more realistic view taken here portrays democracyas an ongoing series of give and take between political parties' policy supply and a mass public's policy demand. Political parties organize democratic choices as divergent policy alternatives, none of which is likely to satisfy the public's policy preferences at any one turn. While the one-off, short-run consequence of a single election often results in differences between the policies that parliaments andgovernments pursue and the preferences their publics hold, the authors construct theoretical arguments, employ computer simulations, and follow up with empirical analysis to show how, why, and under what conditions democratic representation reveals itself over time. Democracy, viewed as a processrather than a single electoral event, can and usually does forge strong and congruent linkages between a public and its government. This original thesis offers a challenge to democratic pessimists who would have everyone believe that neither political parties nor mass publics are up to the tasksthat democracy assigns them.Comparative Politics is a series for students, teachers, and researchers of political science that deals with contemporary government and politics. Global in scope, books in the series are characterised by a stress on comparative analysis and strong methodological rigour. The series is published inassociation with the European Consortium for Political Research. For more information visit: www.ecprnet.eu http://www.ecprnet.euThe Comparative Politics series is edited by Professor David M. Farrell, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, Kenneth Carty, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia, and Professor Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Institute of Political Science,Philipps University, Marburg.

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This bold venture into democratic theory offers a new and reinvigorating thesis for how democracy delivers on its promise of public control over public policy. In theory, popular control could be achieved through a process entirely driven by supply-side politics, with omniscient and strategicpolitical parties converging on the median ...

Ian Budge is Emeritus Professor of Government at the University of Essex; Michael McDonald is Professor of Political Science at Binghamton University; Paul Pennings is Associate Professor of Comparative Political Science at VU University, and Hans Keman is Professor of Comparative Political Science at VU University, Amsterdam.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pagesPublished:June 28, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019965493X

ISBN - 13:9780199654932

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Table of Contents

PrecisAcknowledgementsIntroduction: Representation as ProcessPart I: Party Convergence and Beyond1. Convergence in Context: Simulating Party-Elector Interactions within a Downsian Framework2. Party Stability, Voting Cycles and Convergence: Comparative Evidence3. Unpacking the Convergence ModelPart II : Party Divergence: Causes and Consequences4. The Dynamics of Divergence - Ideology, Factionalism and RepresentationPart III: Representing Voters5. Identifying Majority Preferences: Median or Plurality Voter?6. Representation over Time: Empowering both Modal and Median Preferences Through Policy Inertia - A Model and Simulation7. Representation and the Pace of Policy Change - A Comparative Over-Time AnalysisPart IV: Representing Citizens8. The Nature of Citizen Preferences: Meaningful and Stable?9. Relating Elector to Voter Preferences10. Citizen Preferences and Public PolicyPart V: The Representational Process11. Parties Diverge Around Electors - But Not Too Much. Policy Responds - But Not Too Fast.12. Partisan Governments, Centrist Electors: Resolving the Paradox of Party Representation13. Representing Representation: A Core Theory for Political Science