Four Visions of Democracy: Powell's Elections as Instruments of Democracy and beyond

  • The article critically reviews the conceptual ideas of G. Bingham Powell's Elections as Instruments of Democracy and explores ways to develop them further. Powell's conceptual alternative to the Westminster model - the 'proportional' vision of democracy - comes in two variants, one focusing on proportional representation ( PR) and the other on proportional legislative influence. If one focuses on the former, it is possible to distinguish four visions of parliamentary democracy based on the main stage at which majorities are formed. The four stages are: party, alliance, cabinet, and law formation. The corresponding normative visions can be placed on a conceptual continuum between 'simple' and 'complex' majoritarianism. This article discusses the goals and trade-offs associated with them as well as their underlying institutional designs. It also re-emphasises Powell's insight that the congruence between policy makers and the median voter in a unidimensional policy space is a more appropriate normative standard for some visions ofThe article critically reviews the conceptual ideas of G. Bingham Powell's Elections as Instruments of Democracy and explores ways to develop them further. Powell's conceptual alternative to the Westminster model - the 'proportional' vision of democracy - comes in two variants, one focusing on proportional representation ( PR) and the other on proportional legislative influence. If one focuses on the former, it is possible to distinguish four visions of parliamentary democracy based on the main stage at which majorities are formed. The four stages are: party, alliance, cabinet, and law formation. The corresponding normative visions can be placed on a conceptual continuum between 'simple' and 'complex' majoritarianism. This article discusses the goals and trade-offs associated with them as well as their underlying institutional designs. It also re-emphasises Powell's insight that the congruence between policy makers and the median voter in a unidimensional policy space is a more appropriate normative standard for some visions of democracy than for others.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Steffen GanghofORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/1478-9302.12069
ISSN:1478-9299 (print)
ISSN:1478-9302 (online)
Parent Title (English):Political studies review
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication:Hoboken
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:G. Bingham Powell; complex majoritarianism; ideological congruence; simple majoritarianism; visions of democracy
Volume:13
Issue:1
Pagenumber:11
First Page:69
Last Page:79
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Sozialwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert