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Cambridge University Press
Democratic Politics in the European Parliament

Democratic Politics in the European Parliament


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Democratic Politics in the European Parliament

With the European Parliament comprising politicians from many different countries, cultures, languages, national parties and institutional backgrounds, one might expect politics in the Parliament to be highly-fragmented and unpredictable. By studying more than 12,000 recorded votes between 1979 and 2004 this 2007 book establishes that the opposite is in fact true: transnational parties in the European Parliament are highly cohesive and the classic 'left-right' dimension dominates voting behaviour. Furthermore, the cohesion of parties in the European Parliament has increased as the powers of the Parliament have increased. The authors suggest that the main reason for these developments is that like-minded MEPs have incentives to form stable transnational party organizations and to use these organizations to compete over European Union policies. They suggest that this is a positive development for the future of democratic accountability in the European Union.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521872881
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/28/2016
Series: Themes in European Governance Series
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Simon Hix is Professor of European and Comparative Politics in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Abdul G. Noury is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and the Institute for European Studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Gérard Roland is Professor in the Departments of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Development of the European Parliament; 2. Democracy, transaction costs and political parties; 3. Ideological not territorial politics; 4. Participation; 5. Trends in party cohesion; 6. Agenda setting and cohesion; 7. Who controls the MEPs?; 8. Competition and coalition formation; 9. Dimensions of politics; 10. Investiture and censure of the Santer Commission; 11. The takeover directive; Conclusion.

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