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Reforming DemocracyInstitutional Engineering in Western Europe$
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Camille Bedock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198779582.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 May 2021

Why Study Bundles of Reforms?

Why Study Bundles of Reforms?

The Debate on Democratic Institutions

(p.9) 1 Why Study Bundles of Reforms?
Reforming Democracy

Camille Bedock

Oxford University Press

This chapter starts by presenting the numerous conceptual and empirical arguments that have been put forward suggesting that political elites in Western European democracies have been trapped in areas of turbulence for the last two decades, with this taking the form of a general ‘erosion of political support’ (Dalton 2004). This perceived crisis of consolidated democracies has led to a broad debate on democratic institutions. The chapter then presents the dependent variable studied in this book, the bundle of reforms. The chapter commonly refers to ‘institutional systems’. The starting point, based on the existing literature and specifically on Lijphart’s work, is that democratic institutions evaluated together constitute a system. As a consequence, democratic reforms should also be studied taking into account the systemic nature of democratic institutions. The bundle of reforms constitutes a relevant unit of analysis with which to analyse reforms affecting multiple dimensions of the institutions simultaneously.

Keywords:   bundles of reforms, political support, democratic rules, representative reforms, participative reforms

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