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Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work

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ISBN-13: 978-0691099897
ISBN-10: 0691099898
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Editorial Reviews


"This is a big book and an important one. It completes a program on which George Tsebelis has been working for ten years or more. With luck, it may revolutionize the systematic study of comparative government."--Iain McLean, Journal of Legislative Studies

From the Inside Flap

"This book will be a landmark. It is the culmination of a decade of hard analytical and empirical work through which Tsebelis has single-handedly transformed comparative government. In spite of its analytical precision, the writing is highly accessible. It is safe to predict that this will be among the most influential political science texts of the coming decade."--Fritz W. Scharpf, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne

"Veto Players ranks as the most important theoretical argument to emerge in comparative politics over the last 10-15 years. Tsebelis elegantly lays out a set of simple but rigorous concepts tied to the legislative process. These concepts and their underlying dynamics link regimes, party systems, and federalism to policy outcomes in provocative and profound ways. Veto Players has changed and is likely to continue to change our fundamental understanding of institutional politics."--Barry Ames, University of Pittsburgh

"Veto Players is an excellent book that is likely to be recognized as a seminal contribution to the study of political institutions. It will find its way onto reading lists in just about every self-respecting institution in the United States and many abroad. Tsebelis covers an amazing range of institutions. His book is cogent in its style, parsimonious in its argument, and sweeping in its scope."--Kaare Strom, University of California, San Diego

"Tsebelis shows that the concept of a 'veto' player can provide a great deal of leverage for analyzing apparently very diverse institutional structures. The book is a major advance theoretically and methodologically and should have the effect of using theory to break down artificial boundaries between the subfields of Comparative Politics, International Relations, and American politics."--John Ferejohn, Carolyn Munro Professor, Stanford University

From the preface to the Italian edition:
"Tsebelis has produced what is today the most original theory for the understanding of the dynamics of contemporary regimes. . . This book promises to remain a lasting contribution to political analysis."--Gianfranco Pasquino, Professor of Political Science, University of Bologna

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691099898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691099897
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #697,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's actually pretty rare to find a work of political science that combines rigorous theory with convincing evidence - all the while making an important contribution to the field. Tsebelis' Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work does all of this, and more. The book tries - and largely succeeds - to reframe the study of comparative institutions as a question of veto players. Tsebelis goes through each type of institution, including not just legislatures but also referendums and courts, and presents his theory using 1 and 2 dimensional spatial models. Then, for each chapter, he presents a case study, usually relying upon large-N statistical analysis. FInally, and perhaps most importantly, Tsebelis writes well and clearly. Unlike too many theorists in the field, Tsebelis doesn't lose his reader in his analysis, but rather is driven by clear questions. I'm a first-year poli-sci student and struggle with formal logic, but found Veto Players to be surprisingly accessible. Still, this is pretty intense scholarship, probably only suitable to upper level undergrads at least. Highly recommended.
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