Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions

1st Edition

Edited by Jennifer Gandhi, Rubén Ruiz-Rufino


448 pages | 31 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-04-09
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The Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions (HCPI) is designed to serve as a comprehensive reference guide to our accumulated knowledge and the cutting edge of scholarship about political institutions in the comparative context. It differs from existing handbooks in that it focuses squarely on institutions but also discusses how they intersect with the study of mass behaviour and explain important outcomes, drawing on the perspective of comparative politics. The Handbook is organized into three sections:

  • The first section, consisting of six chapters, is organized around broad theoretical and empirical challenges affecting the study of institutions. It highlights the major issues that emerge among scholars defining, measuring, and analyzing institutions.
  • The second section includes fifteen chapters, each of which handles a different substantive institution of importance in comparative politics. This section covers traditional topics, such as electoral rules and federalism, as well as less conventional but equally important areas, including authoritarian institutions, labor market institutions, and the military. Each chapter not only provides a summary of our current state of knowledge on the topic, but also advances claims that emphasise the research frontier on the topic and that should encourage greater investigation.
  • The final section, encompassing seven chapters, examines the relationship between institutions and a variety of important outcomes, such as political violence, economic performance, and voting behavior. The idea is to consider what features of the political, sociological, and economic world we understand better because of the scholarly attention to institutions.

Featuring contributions from leading researchers in the field from the US, UK, Europe and elsewhere, this Handbook will be of great interest to all students and scholars of political institutions, political behaviour and comparative politics.

Jennifer Gandhi is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Emory University.

Rubén Ruiz-Rufino is Lecturer in International Politics, Department of Political Economy, King’s College London.


With a stellar line-up of brilliant authors and a wide range of chapter topics, the Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions should be indispensable to all scholars of comparative politics and political institutions.

Anna Gryzmala-Busse, University of Michigan

From the birth of modern political science in the early 20th century to contemporary rational choice institutionalism, political institutions have been a defining subject of our discipline. This Handbook covers the full terrain of analytical ideas and empirical regularities discovered by this great tradition and also points the way forward for future scholarship. This is a "must have" for any serious political science collection.

Simon Hix, London School of Economics

Gandhi and Ruiz-Rufino have brought together an outstanding set of scholars to provide a comprehensive treatment of political institutions and their impact. This volume will be essential reading for those interested in exploring the variety of ways in which the formal (and sometimes informal) rules of the game affect political, economic and social outcomes. A major contribution.

Daniel Posner, University of California – Los Angeles

This handbook is exceptionally clear, fresh, empirically rich, and analytically tight. It should be read widely because it is designed to serve as a comprehensive reference guide to accumulated knowledge of political institutions. It challenges some conventional thinking about how formal and informal political institutions operate under various types of government systems. What distinguishes this volume from existing literature is its focus on political institutions and ways they intersect with the study of mass behavior.

K. M. Zaarour, Shaw University, CHOICE recommended

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Introduction Jennifer Gandhi and Rubén Ruiz-Rufino Part I Approaches To Studying Institutions 2. The New Economic Institutionalism in Historical Perspective Margaret Levi and Victor Menaldo 3. Studying Institutions Tom Clark and Jennifer Gandhi 4. Endogenous Change Of Institutions Adam Przeworski5. Formal and Informal Institutions Hans-Joachim Lauth 6. Equilibrium Analysis Of Political Institutions Milan Svolik 7. Using Field Experiments to Study Political Institutions Guy Grossman and Laura Paler Part II Comparative Political Institutions 8. Constitutions as Political Institutions Tom Ginsburg 9. From Duverger to Rokkan and Back: Progress and Challenges In The Study Of Electoral Systems Gabriel Negretto10. Parties and Party Systems Noam Lupu 11. Legislative Organization and Outcomes Eduardo Alemán 12. Executive-Legislative Relations Sebastian Saiegh13. Coalition Formation and Policymaking in Parliamentary Democracies Lanny Martin And Georg Vanberg 14. Judicial Institutions Julio Ríos-Figueroa 15. Federalism Pablo Beramendi And Sandra León 16. Bureaucracy Victor Lapuente 17. Election Administration, Election Observation, and Election Quality Susan Hyde And Kevin Pallister18.The Military’s Role in Politics Aurel Croissant And David Kuehn 19. Authoritarian Institutions Clara Boulianne Lagacé and Jennifer Gandhi 20. Fiscal Institutions Joachim Wehner 21. Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance Irene Menendez and David Rueda 22. Domestic Politics and International Institutions: Cooperation, Sacrifice, and Change James Vreeland Part III The Effects Of Comparative Institutions 23. Voting Behaviour and Political Institutions Ian Mcallister 24. Ethnicity and Elections Rubén Ruiz-Rufino 25. Political Mobilization and Institutions Erica Chenoweth 26. Political Violence: An Institutional Approach Laia Balcells 27. The Institutional Context Of Transitional Justice Monika Nalepa 28. The Institutional Components Of Political Corruption Miriam Golden and Paasha Mahdavi 29. Political Institutions and Economic Development Luz Marina Arias

About the Editors

Jennifer Gandhi is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Emory University.

Rubén Ruiz-Rufino is Lecturer in International Politics, Department of Political Economy, King’s College London.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General