Perfecting parliament : constitutional reform, liberalism, and the rise of Western democracy / Roger D. Congleton.
- Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.
x, 658 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
- Democratization -- Western countries -- History -- 19th century.
Democracy -- Western countries -- History -- 19th century.
Constitutional history -- Western countries.
Liberalism -- Western countries -- History -- 19th century.
Western countries -- Politics and government -- 19th century.
Rational choice theory -- Political aspects.
- "This book explains why contemporary liberal democracies are based on historical templates rather than revolutionary reforms; why the transition in Europe occurred during a relatively short period in the nineteenth century; why politically and economically powerful men and women voluntarily supported such reforms; how interests, ideas, and pre-existing institutions affected the reforms adopted; and why the countries that liberalized their political systems also produced the Industrial Revolution. The analysis is organized in three parts. The first part develops new rational choice models of (1) governance, (2) the balance of authority between parliaments and kings, (3) constitutional exchange, and (4) suffrage reform. The second part provides historical overviews and detailed constitutional histories of six important countries. The third part provides additional evidence in support of the theory, summarizes the results, contrasts the approach taken in this book with that of other scholars, and discusses methodological issues"--Provided by publisher.
- Machine generated contents note: 1. On the origins of Western democracy; 2. Team production, organization, and governance; 3. Organizational governance in the long run; 4. The origins of territorial governance; 5. Constitutional exchange and divided governance; 6. The power of the purse and constitutional reform; 7. Suffrage without democracy; 8. Ideology, interest groups, and adult suffrage; 9. Setting the stage: philosophical, economic and political developments prior to the nineteenth century; 10. Liberalism and reform in the transformative century; 11. Fine-grained constitutional bargaining; 12. An overview of British constitutional history: the English king and the medieval parliament; 13. Constitutional exchange in England: from the Glorious Revolution to universal suffrage; 14. The Swedish transition to democracy; 15. Constitutional reform in the Netherlands: from republic to kingdom, to parliamentary democracy; 16. Germany: constitutional exchange in an emerging state during the nineteenth century; 17. The Japanese transition to democracy and back; 18. The United States, an exception or further illustration?; 19. Quantitative evidence of gradual reform; 20. Ideas, interests, and constitutional reform; Appendix: methodological approach, limits, and extensions.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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