Mechanisms of Democracy

Author: Adrian Vermeule
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199745098
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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What institutional arrangements should a well-functioning constitutional democracy have? Most of the relevant literatures in law, political science, political theory, and economics address this question by discussing institutional design writ large. In this book, Adrian Vermeule moves beyond these debates, changing the focus to institutional design writ small. In established constitutional polities, Vermeule argues that law can and should - and to some extent already does - provide mechanisms of democracy: a repertoire of small-scale institutional devices and innovations that can have surprisingly large effects, promoting democratic values of impartial, accountable and deliberative government. Examples include legal rules that promote impartiality by depriving officials of the information they need to act in self-interested ways; voting rules that create the right kind and amount of accountability for political officials and judges; and legislative rules that structure deliberation, in part by adjusting the conditions under which deliberation occurs transparently or instead secretly. Drawing upon a range of social science tools from economics, political science, and other disciplines, Vermeule carefully describes the mechanisms of democracy and indicates the conditions under which they can succeed.

Mechanisms of Democracy

Author: Adrian Vermeule
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780199855384
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
In established constitutional polities, Vermeule argues, law can and should - and to some extent already does - provide mechanisms of democracy: small-scale institutional devices and innovations that can have surprisingly large effects, promoting democratic values of impartial, accountable and deliberative government.

The War Prerogative

Author: Rosara Joseph
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191641278
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book studies the evolution of the war prerogative in England from 1600-2012. It traces the historical theory and practice of the war prerogative and proposes reform of the constitutional arrangements for its exercise. It addresses three key questions. First, what have writers on political and constitutional theory said about the constitutional arrangements for the war prerogative, and, in particular, what justifications have been advanced for those arrangements? Secondly, in practice, has the executive in fact possessed sole and exclusive powers over war and the deployment of force, or have Parliament and the courts had a role to play in their exercise and scrutiny? Thirdly, are there better ways to organise our constitutional arrangements for the war prerogative, to enable a more substantive role for Parliament (particularly the House of Commons) in its exercise and scrutiny? On the first question, it is shown that orthodox theoretical and political discourses have continuously asserted the executive's exclusive power over war, but the justifications advanced for that arrangement have changed over time. Those changes reflect the varying influence of different political theories at different times. On the second question, it is found that, contrary to orthodox theoretical and political discourses, Parliament has played an active and substantive role in the exercise and scrutiny of the war prerogative. The courts have refused to intervene in the exercise of the war prerogative, but have been more ready to intervene in cases involving the exercise of powers incidental to the war prerogative. On the third question, it is argued that reform of the constitutional arrangements for the war prerogative is necessary and desirable. The use of 'institutional mechanisms' is recommended, which are small-scale rules and institutional arrangements, within existing institutions, which aim to promote certain normative goals. In particular, the enactment of a statute is proposed, which would impose conditions on the executive's exercise of its war prerogative. It is argued that these proposals show that, through careful institutional design, democratic values, national security, and operational efficiency can each be reconciled and promoted.

The Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies

Author: Shane Martin
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191019070
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Legislatures are political bodies essential to democracy and the rule of law. They present social scientists with numerous intriguing puzzles, with far-reaching implications for our understanding of political institutions. Why, and how, have these ancient assemblies, established in pre-democratic times, survived the transition to mass democracies? How have they adapted? How do they structure such processes as budgeting, legislation, and executive oversight? How do their members get selected, and what consequences flow from differences in these rules? What roles do committees and political parties play in contemporary legislatures? What functions do legislatures perform in autocratic, semi-democratic or recently democratized societies? What explains the similarities and differences in legislative rules, powers and recruitment? What are the policy and other consequences of variation in how legislatures are organized and function? The 33 chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies, written by 47 of the most distinguished legislative scholars, provide a comprehensive and up-to-date description and assessment of the state of the art in legislative studies. Key themes explored include theoretical paradigms and methodological approaches to the study of legislatures, representation and legislative careers, internal organization, the role of parties within legislatures and the role of legislatures in policy making and accountability. The Handbook also explores the emergence of parliaments in historical and contemporary contexts, including new democracies and trans-national institutions.