Rationalizing Parliament: Legislative Institutions and Party Politics in France

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Rationalizing Parliament examines how institutional arrangements in the French Constitution shape the bargaining strategies of political parties. The book investigates the decision by French cities to include in the Constitution legislative procedures aimed at "rationalizing" the policymaking role of parliament and analyzes the impact of these procedures on policy outcomes, cabinet stability, and political accountability. Drawing on diverse methodological approaches, including formal models, multivariate statistics, historical analysis, and qualitative case studies, Professor Huber contributes to general theoretical debates about the endogenous choice of institutions and the exogenous impact of institutional arrangements on political decision making. Through its use of theories developed in the American politics literature, the study reveals important similarities between legislative politics in the United States and in parliamentary systems as well as shortcomings in conventional interpretations of French institutional arrangements.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Huber's analysis of confidence votes in parliamentary democracies is important and original....his award-winning book will greatly influence future scholarship on European legislative institutions." Kaare Strom, Legislative Studies Quarterly

"Students (at least in the upper levels) and specialists will profit from its lucid style and original thesis." Robert Ladrech, Perspectives on Political Science

"Clearly and accessibly written for specialists in legislative behavior." W.R. Smith, Choice

"...admirable testimony to the power of neo-institutional rational choice models to clarify central procedures in parliamentary systems. John Huber's Rationalizing Parliament is an intriguing study of the effects of institutional change on democratic governance." Kaare Strøm, Legislative Studies Quarterly

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Series editors' preface
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Parliamentary government in the Fifth Republic 23
Ch. 2 Choosing institutions 38
Ch. 3 Restrictive procedures and policy conflict 64
Ch. 4 Restrictive procedures and bargaining among parties 82
Ch. 5 The confidence vote procedure and electoral politics 112
Ch. 6 Electoral politics, procedural choice, and the French budget 138
Ch. 7 Institutional arrangements, political parties, and parliamentary democracy 178
Notes 189
References 197
Index 209
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