Democratic Decline and Democratic Renewal: Political Change in Britain, Australia and New Zealand

Overview

The story of liberal democracy over the last half century has been a triumphant one in many ways, with the number of democracies increasing from a minority of states to a significant majority. Yet substantial problems afflict democratic states, and while the number of democratic countries has expanded, democratic practice has contracted. This book introduces a novel framework for evaluating the rise and decline of democratic governance. Examining three mature democratic countries - Britain, Australia and New ...

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Democratic Decline and Democratic Renewal

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Overview

The story of liberal democracy over the last half century has been a triumphant one in many ways, with the number of democracies increasing from a minority of states to a significant majority. Yet substantial problems afflict democratic states, and while the number of democratic countries has expanded, democratic practice has contracted. This book introduces a novel framework for evaluating the rise and decline of democratic governance. Examining three mature democratic countries - Britain, Australia and New Zealand - the authors discuss patterns of governance from the emergence of mass democracy at the outset of the twentieth century through to its present condition. The shared political cultures and institutional arrangements of the three countries allow the authors to investigate comparatively the dynamics of political evolution and the possibilities for systemic developments and institutional change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The decline of political parties as vehicles of social representation, especially in Westminster type democracies, has been both noted and bemoaned for decades. We know a lot about why this has happened, but less about what to do about it. Now we do. In Democratic Decline and Democratic Renewal Marsh and Miller make the case for an enhanced role for parliamentary committees as the institutions best adapted for twenty-first-century democracy. Building citizen identities through mobilizing ideas and institutions, they make a powerful case for a new form of post-neoliberal representation that renews the democratic spirit." - Mark Blyth, Professor of International Political Economy, Brown University

"The authors convincingly establish the need to breathe new life into our flagging democracies and offer thoughtful and constructive steps to achieve just that." - Bryan Gould, Former British MP, and writer and commentator on public policy in Britain and New Zealand

"Ground-breaking is an over-used word, but this fine comparative study amply deserves it. Ian Marsh and Raymond Miller have made a major contribution both to empirical knowledge and to normative theory. Indispensable." - David Marquand, Visiting Fellow, Politics Department, Oxford University

"In this book two political scientists accept the challenge of testing a sophisticated theoretical framework against the reality of what actually occurred in three democracies. The insights to be gained from their study are fascinating and vitally important to anyone interested in the future of democratic governance." - Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107025684
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/2012
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Marsh is Professor in the Australian Innovation Research Centre at the University of Tasmania.

Raymond Miller is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Auckland.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. The decline and renewal of democratic governance: a theoretical framework; Part II. Political Change in Britain: The Development of a Strategy Gap: 2. The mass party system and state strategic capacity in Britain; 3. Neo-liberalism and the decline of state strategic capacity; 4. Why the gap in strategic capacity poses a systemic challenge; Part III. Political Change in Australia: The Development of a Representation Gap: 5. Everyman is king: representation and strategic capacity in Australia's mass party period; 6. Pluralised society, individualised politics: the gap between citizens and the formal political system; 7. Why a representation gap poses a systemic challenge (and the populist alternative); Part IV. Political Change in New Zealand: Voting Reform, Multi-Party Politics and Minority Government: 8. Identities and capabilities in the mass party era in New Zealand; 9. Neo-liberalism, social change and democracy; 10. Is electoral reform sufficient?; Part V. Democratic Renewal: 11. Reconnecting citizens to the political system; 12. The prospect for democratic renewal.

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