The state of democratic accountability in the European Union is far healthier than usually assumed, concludes the book which has been awarded the Richard F Fenno Jr Prize for the best book published in 2007 in the field of legislative studies.
Democratic Politics in the European Parliament (Cambridge University Press, April 2007) co-authored by LSE Professor Simon Hix, was awarded the prize by the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association.
With the European Parliament comprising politicians from many different countries, cultures, languages, national parties and institutional backgrounds, one might expect its politics to be highly-fragmented and unpredictable. By studying more than 12,000 recorded votes between 1979 and 2004, the book establishes that the opposite is in fact true: transnational parties in the European Parliament are highly cohesive and the classic 'left-right' dimension dominates voting behaviour.
The prize is designed to honour work that is both theoretically and empirically strong. It is dedicated to encouraging scholars to pursue new and different avenues of research in order to find answers to previously unexplored questions about the nature of politics.
Professor Hix said: 'This prize is international recognition of the quality and significance of our research on the European Parliament. The fact that the award this year is for research on a non-US legislature is also recognition that theoretical ideas and methodological tools originally developed to study the US Congress can be used effectively to understand legislative politics in other parliaments across the world'.
Professor Rodney Barker, head of the Government Department at LSE, said: 'This is a terrific accolade, a very well deserved recognition of the importance of Simon Hix's work, and yet another indication that LSE is at the forefront in world social science'.
For more information on the Richard F Fenno Jr Prize, visit www.apsanet.org/~lss/fennoprize.html
Democratic Politics in the European Parliament is co-authored by Simon Hix, LSE, Abdul G Noury, European Centre for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics, Brussels, and Gérard Roland, University of California, Berkeley (Cambridge University Press, April 2007).
Further contact: LSE Press Office, 020 7955 7060.
5 August 2008