Download The Politics of Regime Structure Reform in Democracies: by Gideon Rahat PDF

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By Gideon Rahat

Analyzes projects aimed toward reforming the electoral and executive platforms of Israel compared to different tested democracies.

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Additional resources for The Politics of Regime Structure Reform in Democracies: Israel in Comparative and Theoretical Perspective (S U N Y Series in Israeli Studies)

Sample text

Moreover, it may be that creating a gap between interests and their perception explains how an institutional equilibrium was broken. That is, studying the manipulation of perceptions of interests should be an integral part of the study of the politics of reform, a key to explaining its occurrence. The rational choice approach is much more useful for explaining stability in regime structure than change. Understanding the politics of reform requires the analysis of the interests of the major actors, rather than their presuppositions; these interests should be analyzed in their historical and immediate context.

Parties closer to the center are expected to support majoritarian features due to expected systemic centripetal tendencies; parties closer to the extremes are expected to support proportionality because of expected systemic centrifugal tendencies. Although adding this factor does not suffice to cover all cases, it improves our ability to explain and predict parties’ behavior. Especially in the case of the politics of reform, it should not be presumed that parties are unitary actors. It is useful to distinguish between three components of parties: the parliamentary faction (or parliamentary party group), the central institutions (“party headquarters”), and the members.

Such an approach can also be found in the cross-national comparative analysis of Banting and Simeon (1985) and that of Longley and Olson (1991b). In their introductions and summaries to collections of single-case studies on reforms of regime structures in established democracies, they suggest some generalizations on the basis of a historical-comparative approach. Longley (1988) also suggests a framework for analyzing the politics of reform in Britain and the United States that includes six components: events, individuals, organizations, mass media, issues, and perceptions of self-interests.

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