front cover of Coalition Politics and Cabinet Decision Making
Coalition Politics and Cabinet Decision Making
A Comparative Analysis of Foreign Policy Choices
Juliet Kaarbo
University of Michigan Press, 2013

Every day, coalition cabinets make policy decisions critical to international politics. Juliet Kaarbo examines the dynamics of these multiparty cabinets in parliamentary democracies in order to assess both the quality of coalition decision making and the degree to which coalitions tend to favor peaceful or military solutions. Are coalition cabinets so riddled by conflict that they cannot make foreign policy effectively, or do the multiple voices represented in the cabinet create more legitimate and imaginative responses to the international system? Do political and institutional constraints inherent to coalition cabinets lead to nonaggressive policies? Or do institutional and political forces precipitate more belligerent behavior?

Employing theory from security studies and political psychology as well as a combination of quantitative cross-national analyses and twelve qualitative comparative case studies of foreign policy made by coalition cabinets in Japan, the Netherlands, and Turkey, Kaarbo identifies the factors that generate highly aggressive policies, inconsistency, and other policy outcomes. Her findings have implications not merely for foreign policy but for all types of decision making and policy-making by coalition governments.


front cover of Executive Leadership in Anglo-American Systems
Executive Leadership in Anglo-American Systems
Colin Campbell
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991

Eighteen distinguished scholars and practicing officials address the problems of executive leadership in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia. Individual essays focus on cabinet government; domestic, military, and economic advisers; executive agencies; and personal staff for presidents and prime ministers. Provocative comparisons between and among systems make the discussions particularly insightful.


front cover of The Madisonian Turn
The Madisonian Turn
Political Parties and Parliamentary Democracy in Nordic Europe
Torbjörn Bergman and Kaare Strøm, editors
University of Michigan Press, 2013

"The Madisonian Turn is an outstanding assessment of the functioning of democratic institutions in the Nordic countries. If democracy is in trouble in Scandinavia, then it is surely facing problems everywhere, so the book will be read carefully by those concerned about contemporary governance in all modern democracies."
---Michael Gallagher, Trinity College, Dublin

"This welcome and timely re-evaluation of Nordic politics constitutes a major contribution to comparative government, and is likely to stand as the definitive treatment of politics in the region for many years to come."
---Peter Mair, European University Institute

"This book is unique in its comparative scope and the wealth of information on the state of parliamentary democracy in the Nordic countries. It is particularly useful for the comparativists who do not come from these countries, because the original literature which it covers in detail is often not accessible for the English-speaking audience."
---Hanspeter Kriesi, University of Zurich

"The strength of The Madisonian Turn is to interface detailed empirical evidence on the dynamics of democratic politics in Scandinavia with an elaboration and test of rival theories of change in the politics of postindustrial democracies. This book is an inspiration for students of Northern Europe, but also for scholars of comparative legislatures and political parties more generally."
---Herbert Kitschelt, Duke University

Parliamentary democracy is the most common regime type in the contemporary political world, but the quality of governance depends on effective parliamentary oversight and strong political parties. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden have traditionally been strongholds of parliamentary democracy. In recent years, however, critics have suggested that new challenges such as weakened popular attachment, the advent of cartel parties, the judicialization of politics, and European integration have threatened the institutions of parliamentary democracy in the Nordic region.

This volume examines these claims and their implications. The authors find that the Nordic states have moved away from their previous resemblance to a Westminster model toward a form of parliamentary democracy with more separation-of-powers features---a Madisonian model. These features are evident both in vertical power relations (e.g., relations with the European Union) and horizontal ones (e.g., increasingly independent courts and central banks). Yet these developments are far from uniform and demonstrate that there may be different responses to the political challenges faced by contemporary Western democracies.

Torbjörn Bergman is Professor of Political Science at Umeå University, Sweden.

Kaare Strøm is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.

Jacket Credit: Heidi Hobde Dailey


front cover of Politics and Administration at the Top
Politics and Administration at the Top
Lessons from Down Under
Delmer Dunn
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997

Winner of the 1998 Charles Levine Award for best book on administration and policy

Dunn focuses on two levers of power in modern democracies, the elected party politician and the professional state bureaucrat, using Australia as his example. Dunn uses interviews with Cabinet ministers, members of their staffs, and department heads of two governments in Australia to see how ministers seek to provide political direction to the bureaucracy. He examines the extent to which they succeed and how their direction is both influenced by and acted on by the departments.
    Dunn's analysis provides a rare look at high-level relationships between politicians and executive departments in one democratic government and offers insights into issues of accountability and responsibility in democratic governments. His findings, based on his in-depth look at a government that blends many features of both U.S. and British governments, reveal the fundamentals that are necessary to make this key relationship work well and are thus pertinent to public administration in all democracies.


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter