Drawing on the work of Arend Lijphart, this book focuses on consensus democracies. These democracies entail a complex set of democratic institutional and conventional arrangements and can be regarded as a product of path-dependent development towards a national culture of compromise and bargaining.
Taking a multi-dimensional and multi-spatial approach, this book examines the West central European consensus democracies of Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland, over the past 40 years. Magone examines how these democracies have been transformed by Europeanization thrusts and global turbulence yet are able to maintain political stability. It provides historical context including the different phases of transformation: the golden period (1945-1979); disorganised capitalism (1979-1993); and re-equilibration (1993-). It includes chapters on political culture, government, parliament, the rise of populism and political parties, subnational government, and the political economy and concludes deliberating on the relevance of consensus democracies’ experiences for the future of European and global governance.
Based on original research, this book will be of strong interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, European government, West European politics, the politics of small states in Europe, and those with a particular interest in the politics of Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland.