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The Chain of Representation

The Chain of Representation
Preferences, Institutions, and Policy across Presidential Systems


  • Publication planned for: January 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2020
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108745413

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About the Authors
  • How do formal institutions affect the extent to which democracies adopt policies that reflect the preferences of their citizens? Based on a chain of representation model in which electoral rules and policy-making powers link citizens, politicians, and policies, this book reveals the conditions under which citizen preferences and implemented policies diverge. Comparative quantitative analyses encompassing eighteen Latin American countries show that presidential democracies vary greatly in the degree to which they demonstrate responsiveness to their electorates. Often, individual presidents with strong legislative powers have prompted policy changes that are unrepresentative of voter preferences. Other times, their interactions with legislatures result in more representative policies. Grounded in clear theory and thorough empirics, this study shows how rules can introduce dissonance between voters and politicians, but also how they can potentially reduce it. This is an excellent resource for scholars and graduate students interested in comparative politics, institutional design, economic policy, and Latin American studies.

    • Provides a thorough yet accessible empirical analysis
    • Presents a step-by-step construction of a theory beginning with explicit assumptions about what voters and politicians want
    • Readers will see why rules guaranteeing the existence of open societies can also introduce dissonance between voter preferences and policy
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: January 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108745413
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 44 b/w illus. 26 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Studying the chain of representation
    2. Our solutions to the challenges of studying the chain of representation
    Part I. Stages:
    3. Stage 1: citizens' preferences
    4. Stage 2: policymakers' preferences
    5. Stage 3: public policies chosen
    6. Placing preferences and policies on a common scale
    Part II. Linkages:
    7. Linkage 1: electoral systems
    8. Linkage 2: policymaking processes
    Part III. Testing the Chain of Representation:
    9. From citizens to policymakers
    10. From policymakers to policies
    11. From citizen to policies
    12. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

  • Authors

    Brian F. Crisp, Washington University, St Louis
    Brian F. Crisp is a Professor of Political Science at Washington University, St Louis. His work on electoral systems, legislative politics, interbranch relations, and policy choices has been published in The American Journal of Political Science, The American Political Science Review, and The Journal of Politics. He is also the Executive Editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly.

    Santiago Olivella, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    Santiago Olivella is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research focuses on developing quantitative tools to study issues in electoral and legislative politics. He has published articles in Political Analysis, the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Electoral Studies.

    Guillermo Rosas, Washington University, St Louis
    Guillermo Rosas is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Washington University, St Louis. His research explores the economic consequences of political regimes and political elite behavior. He is the author of Curbing Bailouts: Bank Crises and Democratic Accountability in Comparative Perspective (2010) and co-author of Latin American Party Systems (Cambridge, 2010).

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