Georg Vanberg, Professor of Political Science, has been awarded the2012 Richard F. Fenno, Jr. Prize for the best book on legislative politics published in 2011 for Parliaments andCoalitions, which he co-authored with Lanny Martin of Rice University and published by Oxford University Press.
Based on the detailed legislative history of more than 1,300 government bills in five European democracies, the central finding of the book is that legislative institutions play a critical role in allowing coalition governments -- which are the norm in most of the world's parliamentary democracies -- to deal with the inherent tensions of policy making by coalition partners who often have conflicting preferences. John Huber, Professor of Political Science at Columbia, writes: “In one of the very best books on parliamentary governance in the last ten years, Martin and Vanberg [show] how the design of legislative institutions shapesbargaining and compromise across coalition partners. The impressive rigor of the study lays bare the inner workings of coalition politics, and the rich findings underscore the importance of putting the oft-neglected parliament back at center stage in the study of parliamentary politics.”
“Winning this prize is not only flattering,” Georg comments. “Dick Fenno is a seminal figure in the study of legislatures, and was a member of the faculty at Rochester while we were in graduate school there. He is not only an exceptional scholar, but tremendously generous in his treatment of graduate students. He had a significant influence on both of us, and so winning a prize that carries his name is particularly meaningful.”
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