The essays in this book fully examine whether parliamentary government is superior to the separation-of-powers system through a direct comparison of the two. In addressing specific policy areas—such as innovation and implementation of energy policies after the oil shocks of 1970, management of societal cleavages, setting of government priorities in budgeting, representation of diffuse interest in environmental policy, and management of defense forces—the authors define capabilities that allow governments to respond to policy problems.
Do Institutions Matter? includes case studies that bear important evidence on when and how institutions influence government effectiveness. The authors discover a widespread variation among parliamentary systems both in institutional arrangements and in governmental capabilities, and find that many of the failings of policy performance commonly attributed to American political institutions are in fact widely shared among western industrial countries. Moreover, they show how American political institutions inhibit some government capabilities while enhancing others. Changing American institutions to improve some aspects of governmental performance could hurt other widely valued capabilities.
The authors draw important guidelines for institutional reformers while emphasizing that institutions do have predictable risks and opportunities. They caution that a balance between such risks and opportunities must first be reached before policy reformers try to change political institutions.
The American Anomaly systematically analyzes the U.S. political system by way of comparison with other countries, especially other industrialized democracies. It is organized into four sections, respectively covering the constitutional order, governmental institutions, political participation, and public policy. Extended case studies in each chapter draw on all the major regions of the world.
Thoroughly revised throughout, the second edition also includes:
a new chapter on domestic public policy, including civil rights and liberties;
a new chapter on foreign policy;
updates throughout to reflect the 2008 elections and the beginning of the Obama administration;
a reorganized section on political participation;
over a dozen new figures and tables.
A companion website also offers overview slides, links, and other supporting features.
Examples from the gender and politics literature have been incorporated into various chapters and empirical examples and data on various types of institutions have been updated. The book's outstanding pedagogy includes more than 250 tables and figures, numerous photos and maps, end of chapter exercises and problem sets, and a broader set of works cited.
New to this EditionA new intuitive take on statistical analyses and a clearer explanation of how to interpret regression results are included. A thoroughly-revised chapter on culture and democracy includes a more extensive discussion of cultural modernization theory and a new overview of survey methods for addressing sensitive topics. A revised chapter on dictatorships incorporates a principal-agent framework for understanding authoritarian institutions. Examples from the gender and politics literature have been incorporated into various chapters. Empirical examples and data on various types of institutions have been updated. Online videos and tutorials guide students through some of the methodological components addressed in the book.
Los criterios de selección aplicados se basan en que los artículos trasciendan la actualidad inmediata de la fecha de publicación y en que no estén firmados por políticos, pues entendemos que su voz ya encuentra cada día amplios espacios en los medios de comunicación y que los ciudadanos conocen bien sus opiniones. No obstante, sí figura un interesantísimo diálogo entre Felipe González y Jordi Pujol (mantenido durante un acto que organizó EL PAÍS) que fue moderado por Javier Moreno.
Se ha procurado asimismo evitar textos que puedan resultar repetitivos o demasiado coincidentes entre sí. No obstante, esas reiteraciones se producen en alguna ocasión, como consecuencia de los grandes grupos ideológicos en que cada autor se encuadra, voluntaria o involuntariamente. Finalmente, otros textos se han incluido o excluido con el criterio de buscar un cierto equilibrio que permita la presencia de todas las posturas, compatible con una extensión que no haga inmanejable este libro. El total de artículos disponibles sumaba 552, de los que se han escogido 163.