Book Review: On Voter Competence

A half century of research shows that most citizens are shockingly uninformed about public affairs, liberal-conservative ideologies, and the issues of the day. This has led most scholars to condemn typical voters and to conclude that policy voting lies beyond their reach. On Voter Competence breaks sharply from this view, with author Paul Goren providing analysis of opinion data from the past six presidential elections. Lorna Walker writes that this book challenges some aspects of the negative view of American voters, it by no means exonerates them on the charge of incompetence.

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Book Review: Political Parties in Britain

This introductory textbook examines the factors contributing to parties’ fortunes and identities, and the causes of recent changes in both. It examines Britain’s main and minor political parties as well as peripheral parties like the BNP and UKIP. Eunice Goescontends Political Parties in Britain is a highly informative, accessible and up-to-date introductory text that should be included in all British Politics reading lists.


Political Parties in Britain. Matt Cole and Helen Deighan. Edinburgh University Press. July 2012. Continue reading

Book Review: Accounting for Ministers: Scandal and Survival in British Government 1945-2007

Accounting for Ministers uses the tools of modern political science to analyse the factors which determine the fortunes of Cabinet ministers. Utilising agency theory, it describes Cabinet government as a system of incentives for prime ministerial and parliamentary rule. Lord Wilson has reservations about the attempts to analyse the rich, complex, impossible lives of Ministers with the methods of political analysis used in this book but nevertheless finds it a useful addition to the sum of political knowledge. 

Accounting for Ministers: Scandal and Survival in British Government 1945-2007. Samuel Berlinksi, Torun Dewan and Keith Dowding. Cambridge University Press. 2012. Continue reading