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Vol 23 No 1 Jan/Feb 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of The Law of Privilege

The Law of Privilege

Edited by: Bankim Thanki
Price: £195.00

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Pivotal Politics

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Keith KrehbielProfessor of Political Science, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA

ISBN13: 9780226452722
ISBN: 0226452727
Published: June 2000
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Format: Paperback
Price: £24.00

Despatched in 8 to 10 days.

Politicians and pundits alike have complained that the divided governments of the last decades have led to a legislative gridlock. The author argues against this, advancing the theory that divided government actually has little effect on legislative productivity. Gridlock is in fact the order of the day, occurring even when the same party controls the legislative and executive branches. Anchored to real politics, the author argues that the pivotal vote on a piece of legislation is not the one that gives a bill simple majority, but the vote that allows its supporters to override a possible presidential veto. This theory of pivots also explains why, when bills are passed, winning coalitions usually are bipartisan and supermajority sized. Offering an account of when gridlock is overcome and showing that political parties are less important in legislative-executive politics than previously thought, this text offers a perspective on American lawmaking.

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