By John Gerring
This booklet units forth a comparatively novel concept of democratic governance, appropriate to all political settings within which multi-party festival obtains. opposed to the present decentralist concept (deriving from Madison and Montesquieu), we argue that solid governance arises whilst political energies are centred towards the guts. parts has to be reconciled to ensure that this strategy of amassing jointly to happen. associations has to be inclusive and so they has to be authoritative. We consult with this mixture of attributes as "centripetal." whereas the idea has many capability purposes, during this e-book we're involved essentially with national-level political associations. between those, we argue that 3 are of primary value in securing a centripetal form of democratic governance: unitary (rather than federal) sovereignty, a parliamentary (rather than presidential) government, and a closed-list PR electoral approach (rather than a single-member district or preferential-vote system). We try out the influence of those associations throughout quite a lot of governance results.
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Additional info for A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance
Organizational weakness thus loosens bonds of accountability that would otherwise exist 18 19 Schattschneider (1942). Ford (1898/1967: 322–3). 83333in 37 between voters and politicians, because the party is not able to act as a unitary agent. 20 Our stress on the unitary nature of political parties should not give the impression that there is no disagreement within a (“strong”) party’s ranks. On the contrary, disagreement serves the party’s long-run interests so long as these internal critiques have as their goal the ongoing success of the party.
In single-member districts, by contrast, candidate selection is almost always a constituency-level affair. 11 Of much greater importance is the way in which closed-list PR systems structure the vote, and hence the power of political parties vis-a` vis individual candidates. Single-member-district electoral systems tend to foster strong relationships between individual candidates and voters in the constituency. He is “their” man; they are “his” constituents. This means several things. First, it means that voting in an SMD system is likely to be more personalized, less partisan.
Thus fragmented, they cannot serve as instruments of aggregation and accountability. Nor can they effectively compete against one another, for they are no longer unitary entities. Note that intra- and interparty competition are inversely related. Given this fundamental fact of politics, one must make a choice about which sort of competition to privilege. The centripetal theory 17 Castles et al. (1988), Castles and Wildenmann (1986), Cox and McCubbins (1993), Fiorina (1980), Katz (1987), Muller (2000), Ranney (1962), Schattschneider (1942, 1960), Ware (1987).