Skip to Content

Comparative Politics

The Principal-Agent Perspective

By Jan-Erik Lane

Routledge – 2007 – 316 pages

Series: Routledge Research in Comparative Politics

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $54.95
    978-0-415-58678-8
    June 10th 2010
  • Add to CartHardback: $150.00
    978-0-415-43206-1
    October 31st 2007
    Currently out of stock

Description

Starting from the principal-agent perspective, this book offers a new analysis of government. It interprets political institutions as devices designed to solve the omnipresent principal-agent game in politics. In other words how to select, instruct, monitor and evaluate political agents or elites so that they deliver in accordance with the needs and preferences of their principal: the population.

This book explores whether there are any evolutionary mechanisms in politics which guide mankind towards the rule of law regime, domestically and globally. It combines a cross-sectional approach with a longitudinal one.

Comparing the extent of the rule of law among states, using a set of data from 150 countries concerning political and social variables, the author seeks to understand why there is such a marked difference among states. Taking a state-centred perspective and looking at countries with a population larger than one million people during the post Second World War period, the book examines:

  • The stability and performance of states
  • The conditions for the rule of law regime: economic, social, cultural and institutional ones
  • The evolution of governments towards rule of law

Comparative Politics - The Principle-Agent Perspective will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, government, political theory and law.

Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER: MICRO FOUNDATIONS OF COMPARATIVE POLITICS

Politics as a Series of Principal-Agent Games

Politics as Principal-Agent Contracting

Institutional Mechanism: Rule of Law

Political Agents and Incentives

Political Agents and Outcomes

Rules and Preferences

Conclusion

SECTION 1. STATES: STABILITY AND PERFORMANCE

CHAPTER ONE: THE STATES OF THE WORLD

Introduction

Weber’s concept of the State

The identification of Present States

States as Institutional Probabilities

State Longevity and Regime Stability

Institutional Foundations of States

Regimes

Regime Longevity and Constitutional Changes

State Stability and Political Unrest

Conclusion

CHAPTER TWO: RULE OF LAW

Introduction

Performance Analysis

Rule of Law Measure

The Public Sector

Social Outcomes

Conclusion

SECTION II. CONDITIONS THAT SUPPORT RULE OF LAW

CHAPTER THREE: ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Introduction

Size and Climate

Social Structure

Religion

Family Values: Individualism versus Collectivism

Economic Conditions

Relevance of Social, Cultural and Economic Conditions

Conclusion

CHAPTER FOUR: IMPACT OF POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS

Introduction

Institutions, Principals and Agents

Contestation and Participation

Adversarial, Concurrent and Consociational Democracy

Federations and Confederations

Presidentialism

Parliamentarism and Bicameralism

Authoritarian Institutions

Institutional Consolidation or Decay

Judicial Institutions

Relevance of Institutions

Conclusions

CHAPTER FIVE: CHANGING PRINCIPAL-AGENT INSTITUTIONS

Introduction

Introducing the Market Economy

Third World State Transformation

Political Stability

Conclusion

CHAPTER SIX: PARTY SYSTEM INSTABILITY AND VOLATILITY FROM THE PRINCIPAL-AGENT PERSPECTIVE

Introduction

Party-System Stability and Democratic Stability

Volatility and the Vitality of Democracy

The Data

Net Volatility

Party System Fractionalization

Volatility and Fractionalization

A Regression Model of Volatility

Conclusion

SECTION III. TOWARDS EVOLUTIONARY REGIME THEORY

CHAPTER SEVEN: REGIME FITNESS ON THE SURVIVAL OF POLITIES

Introduction

Polity Forms, Fitness and Evolutionary Mechanisms

Capacity

Efficacy and Legitimacy of a Political Regime

Conclusion

CHAPTER EIGHT: THE CONCEPT OF A POLITY: From the City-State to the Empire

Introduction

The Greek Heritage

Emergence of the Hellenistic Empires and Pax Romana

Conclusion

CHAPTER NINE: ANCIENT EMPIRES. Oriental Despotism or the Patrimonial State

Introduction

Wittfogel

Weber

The Aztecs

The Mayas

The Incas

West-African Empires

China

Mughal India

Conclusion

CHAPTER TEN: FEUDALISM: Political, Economical and Modern

Introduction

Occidental and Oriental Feudalism

Political Feudalism

Economic Feudalism: Manorialism

An Ideal-Type Feudal Polity?

Modern Feudalism: The War Lords

Conclusion

CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE NATION-STATE AND COLONIAL EMPIRES

Introduction

Birth of the Nation-State

Colonial Empires

African Colonialism

Towards an American Empire

The Post-Colonial State

Conclusion

CHAPTER TWELVE: THE REGIONALISATION OF THE STATE

Introduction

Basic Modes of Regional Organization

The Regional Forum

Regional Facilities

Economics I: FTA’s and Customs Unions

Economics II: Monetary Unions

Economics III: The Common Market

The Regional Regimes: Will They Replace the State?

Conclusion

CONCLUDING CHAPTER: EVOLUTIONARY ADVANTAGE OF RULE OF LAW REGIMES

Can Stable Authoritarian Regimes Survive?

Politics as Principal-agent Contracting

Conclusion

APPENDIX I: STATES INCLUDED IN THE DATA ANALYSIS

REFERENCES

Author Bio

Jan Erik-Lane, University of Freiburg.

Name: Comparative Politics: The Principal-Agent Perspective (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Jan-Erik Lane. Starting from the principal-agent perspective, this book offers a new analysis of government. It interprets political institutions as devices designed to solve the omnipresent principal-agent game in politics. In other words how to select, instruct,...
Categories: International Law - Law, Comparative Politics, Government, International Politics, Political Theory, Public Administration & Management