Political Parties and Legislative Party Switching

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Political parties and democratic politics go hand in hand. Since parties matter, it matters too when elected politicians change party affiliation. This book shows when, when, and to what effect politicians switch parties in pursuit of their goals, as constrained by institutions and in response to their environments. The contributors examine diverse settings, from Europe to Israel, from the United States to Japan, from Russia to Brazil. They also integrate formal and empirical approaches in political science. The book demonstrates that taking party switching seriously enriches the understanding of political parties, legislative politics, policy making, and democratic representation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230607552
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/23/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

William B. Heller is Associate Professor of Political Science at Binghamton University. His research focuses on political institutions, primarily legislative, but covers topics as varied as, among others, bicameralism, the evolution of cooperation, coalition unity, and party discipline. Heller has published articles in a number of journals, most recently including the American Journal of Political Science, Annual Review of Political Science, Public Choice, and Legislative Studies Quarterly.

Carol Mershon is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. Mershon's research examines intraparty competition, the dynamics of party systems, the politics of multiparty government, and legislative politics. Her most recent book is The Costs of Coalition (Stanford University Press, 2002). Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, and the Journal of Politics, among others.

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Table of Contents

• List of Tables and Figures
• Part One. The Importance of Party Switching
• Introduction: Legislative Party Switching, Parties, and Party Systems- William B. Heller and Carol Mershon
• 2 Integrating Theoretical and Empirical Models of Party Switching-William B. Heller and Carol Mershon
• Part Two. Party Switching and Representation
• 3 Switching Equilibria- Norman Schofield
• 4 Party Switching and the Procedural Party Agenda in the US House of Representatives- Timothy P. Nokken
• 5 Party Switching in Brazil: Causes, Effects, and Representation- Scott Desposato
• Part Three. Party Switching, Party Competition, and Policy Making
• 6 Party Group Switching in the European Parliament- Gail McElroy and Kenneth Benoit
• 7 Legislator Preferences, Party Desires: Party Switching and the Foundations of Policy Making in Legislatures- William B. Heller and Carol Mershon
• 8 Timing Matters: Incentives for Party Switching and Stages of Parliamentary Cycles- Carol Mershon and Olga Shvetsova
• Part Four. Party Switching and the Dynamics of Party Systems
• 9 Competition for Power: Party Switching and Party System Change in Japan- Junko Kato and Kentaro Yamamoto * 10 Party Switching, Party Systems, and Political Representation- Marcus Kreuzer and Vello Pettai
• 11 Conclusions- William B. Heller and Carol Mershon
• Notes
• References
• Contributors
• Index

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