Reforming Democracy: Institutional Engineering in Western Europe

ISBN : 9780198779582

Camille Bedock
352 ページ
156 x 234 mm
Comparative Politics

When, why, and how are democratic institutions reformed? This is the broad question guiding this research, rooted in a context of crises of representative democracy. Core democratic rules can be understood as the formal political rules regulating the direct relationship between elites within the political system, parties, and citizens. They are therefore the cornerstone of the functioning of any political system. This book deals with the context, the motives, and the mechanisms explaining the incidence of institutional engineering in consolidated European democracies between 1990 and 2015. It is centred on the choice of political elites to use - or not to use - institutional engineering as a response to the challenges they face. This study provides both a better empirical understanding of the world of democratic reforms in consolidated democracies, thanks to a new data-set covering six dimensions of reform in 18 European countries. Secondly, the book provides evidence about the link between the


Part I: Reforms of the Core Democratic Rules and their Contextual Determinants
1 Why Study Bundles of Reforms? The Debate on Democratic Institutions
2 To Reform or Not to Reform? The Determinants and Processes of Institutional Change in Established Democracies
3 The Changes to Core Democratic Rules in Western Europe, 1990-2010: An Overview
4 Disentangling the Long- and Short- Term Determinants of the Reforms of Core Democratic Rules: A Model for Western Europe, 1990-2010

Part II: The Mechanisms of Reform of the Core Democratic Rules
5 The Mechanisms of Institutional Reforms in Action: The Politics of Bundles of Reforms
6 You Win Some, You Lose Some: The Various Fortunes of Institutional Reforms in Ireland Since 2011
7 An Unexpected Journey: The Quinquennat and the Reordering of the Electoral Calendar in France, 2000-2001
8 Bundling the Bundles: Coalition Dynamics and Institutional Reforms in Italy, 2003-2006



Camille Bedock is a FNRS postdoctoral researcher in the Centre d'etude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) at the Universite libre de Bruxelles since September 2016. Her work focuses on democratic reforms in consolidated democracies, and on the changes of democracy in a context of decline of political support. She has published in numerous journals such as The European Political Science Review, Representation, French Politics, the Revue Francaise de Science Politique, and the European Review of Social Sciences.