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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Arend Lijphart and the 'New Institutionalism'

  • Author(s): Grofman, Bernard
  • et al.

In a series of books and articles Arend Lijphart has established himself as the leading exponent of an important strain of new institutionalist thought, one whose central features have never, as far as we are aware, clearly been articulated, even by Lijphart himself. We compare and contrast the approach of Lijphart (and of the students and colleagues he has influenced)--one which we argue is distinguished by its mix of concern for taxonomic conceptualization, cross-national and cross-temporal applicability, and explanatory power--with other better known strains of the "new institutionalism." We also briefly discuss extensions and critiques of Lijphart's distinction between majoritarian and consensus-oriented governmental structures.

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