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The utility of the voting power approach

Leech, Dennis (2003) The utility of the voting power approach. 678. Warwick Economic Research Papers, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper argues that the voting power approach is much more general than is portrayed by Albert (“The Voting Power Approach: Measurement without Theory”, European Union Politics, 4:3, 2003) and is therefore capable of generating important insights about voting systems, such as qualified majority voting in the EU Council. The voting power approach focuses on understanding the properties of voting systems by analysing outcomes and thereby is able to generate empirical facts that are not otherwise obvious. That the approach is so general has not previously been pointed out in the relevant literature; it has usually been taken as coinciding with power indices. Albert’s criticism is directed at one aspect of the theory of voting power indices: the assumption of probabilistic voting that underlies conventional power indices. It is argued that he fails to take account of the different uses of power indices and that the probabilistic voting assumptions he derides may or may not be useful depending on this. It is necessary to emphasise the key distinction between a priori power indices and measure of empirical voting power. Albert misrepresents the voting power approach and is not willing to allow that it encompasses a diversity of methods as well as a research agenda.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/VPP/
Additional Information: Copyright © 2003 Dennis Leech. The authors gratefully acknowledge that work on this paper was partly supported by the Leverhulme Trust (Grant F/07-004m). LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (<http://eprints.lse.ac.uk>) of the LSE Research Online website.
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 678
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2006
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/559/

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