Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work

Princeton University Press
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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:
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"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

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About the author

George Tsebelis is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Nested Games: Rational Choice in Comparative Politics and coauthor of Bicameralism. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hoover National Fellowship, and a Russell Sage Fellowship, he has published numerous papers on the institutions of the European Union and on comparative institutional analysis.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jun 16, 2011
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9781400831456
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Process / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Comparative politics often involves testing of hypotheses using new methodological approaches without giving sufficient attention to the concepts which are fundamental to hypotheses, particularly the ability of these concepts to ‘travel’. Proper operationalising requires deep reflection on the concept, not simply establishing how it should be measured. Conceptualising Comparative Politics – the flagship book of Routledge’s series of the same name – breaks new ground by emphasising the role of thoroughly thinking through concepts and deep familiarity with the case that inform the conceptual reflection.

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Concepts make possible scholarly conversations including creative confrontations across paradigms. Conceptualising Comparative Politics will challenge you to think of how to engage in conceptual comparative inquiry and how to use various methodologically sound techniques to understand and explain comparative politics.

For courses in Introduction to Political Science.

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Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Abraham Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.

Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

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Everyone has an opinion about whether or not Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The number of actors involved is staggering, the events are complicated, and it’s hard to know who or what to believe. Spygate bypasses opinion and brings facts together to expose the greatest political scandal in American history.

 

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