By John Gerring
This booklet units forth a comparatively novel conception of democratic governance, appropriate to all political settings within which multi-party pageant obtains. opposed to the existing decentralist concept (deriving from Madison and Montesquieu), we argue that stable governance arises while political energies are centred towards the heart. parts needs to be reconciled to ensure that this strategy of collecting jointly to ensue. associations needs to be inclusive they usually needs to be authoritative. We seek advice from this mix of attributes as "centripetal." whereas the speculation has many strength purposes, during this ebook we're involved essentially with national-level political associations. between those, we argue that 3 are of basic value in securing a centripetal sort of democratic governance: unitary (rather than federal) sovereignty, a parliamentary (rather than presidential) government, and a closed-list PR electoral approach (rather than a single-member district or preferential-vote system). We try out the impression of those associations throughout quite a lot of governance results.
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Extra info for A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance
Not all political institutions are of equal significance. 1 have greater impact on policy making than others. And some are undoubtedly more “structural” (causally exogenous) than others. We refer to the most consequential and most structural factors as constitutional. They include (1) the nature of sovereignty, (2) the structure of the executive, and (3) the rules of electoral contestation. A fully centripetal system is unitary, parliamentary, and closed-list PR. ) These three constitutional factors are the prime movers of the centripetal model as applied to national-level politics within a democratic framework.
Having outlined the broad theoretical parameters of the argument in chapter one, we now turn to a more detailed discussion of causal pathways. Chapter two focuses on the effects of these constitutional institutions on the creation and maintenance of a form of rule known as party government. Chapter three addresses the probable effects of these institutions in mediating extreme forms of political conflict, particularly conflict rooted in ethnic identities. And chapter four attempts to demonstrate why centripetal institutions may do a better job of coordinating diverse policies across the various levels and institutions of government.
Moreover, closed-list PR is most effective in fostering strong parties where barriers to party building are most severe, that is, in polities that are new, economically underdeveloped, or heterogeneous (divided along tribal, ethnic, religious, linguistic, or geographic lines). There are several reasons for this. First, coherence is fostered by the ability of party leaders to determine, or at least to influence, the order of the party’s list, and hence the selection of candidates to the legislature.
A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance by John Gerring