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Making and Breaking Governments
Cabinets and Legislatures in Parliamentary Democracies

$34.00 ( ) USD

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Part of Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions

  • Date Published: February 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511882074

$ 34.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Making and Breaking Governments offers a theoretical argument about how parliamentary democracy works. The authors formulate a theoretical model of how parties create new governments and either maintain them in office or, after a resignation or no-confidence vote, replace them. The theory involves strategic interaction, derives consequences, formulates empirical hypotheses on the basis of these, and tests the hypotheses with data drawn from the postwar European experience with parliamentary democracy.

    • Formal game-theoretic analysis
    • Empirical testing of theoretical propositions
    • Creative use of a novel simulation technology
    Read more


    • Winner of the American Political Science Association prize for best book in political economy

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Laver and Shepsle have produced an expertly executed manuscript that will have a profound effect on the study of government coalitions for years to come....their focus on agenda powers is seminal, provocative, and profound." Kaare Strom, Legislative Studies Quarterly

    " once eminently testable and refreshingly simple and elegant." American Political Science Review

    "Laver and Shepsle creatively combine the components of political theory with vigorous multivirate statistical analysis, case studies of Germany and Ireland, and simulation experiments to differentiate between cabinet and legislative governing responsibilities." Craig A. Williams, LSS Newsletter

    "...clear and persuasive.... ...a well-articulated conception of parliamentary government and one that is likely to stimulate much further research. ...Making and Breaking Governments...will powerfully stimulate and enhance future research on democratic political institutions." Kaare Strom, Legislative Studies Quarterly

    "The authors have achieved a brilliant juxtaposition of theoretical rigor with practical application. Theorists, as well as commentators on political elections, can profitably use this book. It is well worth an analyst's time and effort to learn this model for applications to their respective parliaments." Douglas Wills, Public Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511882074
    • contains: 41 b/w illus. 37 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Series editors' preface
    Part I. The Context:
    1. Theory, institutions, and government formation
    2. The social context of government formation
    3. The government formation process
    Part II. The Model:
    4. Government equilibrium
    5. Strong parties
    Part III. Empirical Investigations:
    6. Two cases: Germany, 1987
    Ireland, 1992–3
    7. Theoretical implications, data, and operationalization
    8. Exploring the model: a comparative perspective
    9. A multivariate investigation of portfolio allocation
    Part IV. Applications, Extensions, and Conclusions:
    10. Party systems and cabinet stability
    11. Making the model more realistic
    12. Party politics and administrative reform
    13. Governments and parliaments

  • Editors

    Michael Laver, University of Dublin

    Kenneth A. Shepsle, Harvard University, Massachusetts


    • Winner of the American Political Science Association prize for best book in political economy

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