Rationalizing Parliament: Legislative Institutions and Party Politics in France

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Rationalizing Parliament examines how institutional arrangements in the French Constitution shape the bargaining strategies of political parties. The book investigates the decision by French cities to include in the Constitution legislative procedures aimed to 'rationalize' the policy-making role of parliament and analyses the impact of these procedures on policy outcomes, cabinet stability and political accountability. Drawing on diverse methodological approaches, including formal models, multivariate statistics, historical analysis and qualitative case studies, Professor Huber contributes to general theoretical debates about the endogenous choice of institutions, and about the exogenous impact of institutional arrangements on political decision-making. Through its use of theories developed in the American politics literature, the study reveals important similarities between legislative politics in the United States and in parliamentary systems and shortcomings in conventional interpretations of French institutional arrangements.