Herbert Döring (ed.)  
  Parliaments and Majority Rule in Western Europe    
    vergrößerte Ansicht in neuem Fenster  
  700 S, Frankfurt am Main, Campus Verlag, 1995  
  ISBN 0-312-12507-0, 3-593-35309-1  
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This first comprehensive area study is not only geared towards the needs of academics, libraries, students, school teachers and the general public, it also satisfies the expectations of two quite different clienteles of legislative researchers. As such it serves not only as a reference compendium, but also gives in part I an exposition of the main tenets of contemporary "institutional theory" in legislative studies. It then proceeds in parts II to IV to map institutional structures and procedural rules cross-nationally. Here the focus will be on devices that, on the one hand, favour majoritarian decision making and, on the other, give protection to the rights of minority parties and individual deputies, both at the government-opposition and at the cross-party level. Both parliamentary practitioners and political theorists alike will find the reading rewarding for two reasons. Firstly, all descriptions study not just a few well-known cases but document the pattern of variation across all eighteen countries of Western Europe. Secondly, these descriptive cross-national accounts serve as the means to a more ambitious purpose in various chapters, particularly in part V. Assuming that - contrary to the conventional wisdom but in keeping with recent theorizing - parliamentary procedures may indeed affect political outcomes, some thought-provoking generalisations about possible correlations between parliamentary structures and the average number and type of bills passed per country are empirically checked in aggregate analysis across countries.

Table of Contents



Part I: Comparing Parliaments: Key Concepts and Core Questions

1 Herbert Döring
Institutions and Policies: Why We Need Cross-National Analysis

2 Kaare Strøm
Parliamentary Government and Legislative Organisation

3 George Tsebelis
Veto Players and Law Production in Parliamentary Democracies

Part II: Government and Parliament: Modes of Mutual Control

4 Lieven De Winter
The Role of Parliament in Government Formation and Resignation

5 Rudy Andeweg and Lia Nijzink
Beyond the Two-Body Image: Relations Between Ministers and MPs

6 Matti Wiberg
Parliamentary Questioning. Control by Communication?

7 Herbert Döring
Time as a Scarce Resource: Means of Government Control of the House

Part III: Chamber Structures: Collective Actors and Arbiters

8 Ingvar Mattson and Kaare Strøm
Parliamentary Committees

9 Erik Damgaard
How Parties Control Committee Members

10 Marcelo Jenny and Wolfgang Müller
Presidents of Parliament: Neutral Chairmen or Assets of the Majority?

11 George Tsebelis and Bjørn Erik Rasch
Patterns of Bicameralism

12 Mark Williams
Political Groups, Minority Rights and the "Rationalisation" of the European Parliament

Part IV: Attaining Legislation: Demands, Rules and Veto Players

13 Ulrike Liebert
Parliamentary Lobby Regimes

14 Ingvar Mattson
Private Members' Initiatives and Amendments

15 Bjørn Erik Rasch
Parliamentary Voting Procedures

16 Thomas Saalfeld
On Dogs and Whips: Recorded Votes

17 Nicos Alivizatos
Judges as Veto Players

Part V: Parliamentary Structures and Legislative Output

18 Georgios Trantas
Comparing Legislative Instruments Across Nations

19 Herbert Döring, Evi Scholz and Georgios Trantas
Legislation on "Benefits" and on Regulatory Matters: Social Security and Labour Market

20 Herbert Döring
Is Government Control of the Agenda Likely to Keep "Legislative Inflation" at Bay?


Links Between the Chapters: Patterns and Perspectives